Se­nior cit­i­zens get new com­mu­nity cen­tre at Nerul PWP protests de­lay in high­way project

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI - Pranab Jy­oti Bhuyan pranab.bhuyan@hin­dus­tan­times.com G Mo­hi­ud­din Jeddy ht­for­nav­i­mum­bai@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Just five days af­ter a large por­tion of a foot­path at sec­tor 14 in Vashi caved, a sim­i­lar in­ci­dent oc­curred on the foot­path right op­po­site it on Wed­nes­day. The foot­path on the op­po­site side of the road caved in, this time a much larger sec­tion be­ing af­fected. No one was in­jured.

The se­nior cit­i­zens of Nerul now have new com­mu­nity cen­tre for spend­ing some qual­ity time with peo­ple of their ages ev­ery evening.

Ad­hata Trust, a non­govern­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tion opened this cen­ter at SIES Col­lege of Arts, Sci­ence and Com­merce on Mon­day. In view of the ne­ces­sity of the recre­ational places for se­nior cit­i­zens, col­lege author­i­ties have given them a few rooms at their premises.

“We think, the re­tire­ment can of­fer se­nior cit­i­zens a re­newed sense of self and a new lease of life. It is a time which af­fords the op­por­tu­nity to take up in­ter­ests and ac­tiv­i­ties that one might not have been able to pur­sue ear­lier. There­fore, we have taken this ef­fort to en­rich the lives of the el­derly peo­ple,” said Arun Nanda, founder of Ad­hata Trust.

The trust has many other com­mu­nity cen­ters in Mum­bai which are lo­cated at places like Sion, And­heri, Saki Naka, Matunga and TISS Mum­bai.

Koyel Roy­choud­hury, the prin­ci­pal of the col­lege said, “Se­nior cit­i­zens can come here and get en­gaged in var­i­ous ac­tiv­i­ties ev­ery day. We will or­gan­ise cul­tural pro­grammes for them wherein our stu­dents will also get in­volved. The el­derly peo­ple will have a nice break from their usual monotony through this.”

The in­au­gu­ral event at Nerul wit­nessed dance and theatre per­for­mances by Ad­hata mem­bers.

The Peas­ants and Work­ers Party (PWP) or­ga­nized a mas­sive hu­man chain mor­cha on Mum­bai-Goa high­way ear­lier this week to protest against the de­lay in the road ex­pan­sion work.

The Mum­bai-Goa high­way work has been pro­gress­ing at a snail’s pace for the past seven years. There have been a num­ber of ac­ci­dents in the 140 km stretch of Pan­vel to In­da­pur for the year. The pend­ing road works are re­sult­ing in a num­ber of prob­lems in Raigad dis­trict. Peo­ple dy­ing in road ac­ci­dents, reg­u­lar traf­fic snarls, pot­hole filled roads have been a night­mare for mo­torists.

There have been sev­eral protests in the past by po­lit­i­cal par­ties and also the me­dia which has de­manded rea­sons for the de­lay from the gov­ern­ment. Noth­ing seems to have worked, how­ever, with the work con­tin­u­ing at snail pace.

It was to protest this de­lay that the PWP or­ga­nized protest on the high­way by form­ing a hu­man chains. The cen­tral pub­lic works de­part­ment min­is­ter had as­sured that the work will be com­pleted in a year’s time, how­ever, even af­ter two years, there is no sign of the com­ple­tion.

The PWP’s main de­mand is speed­ing up work on the Pan­vel to In­da­pur stretch and its early com­ple­tion and the ex­pan­sion of the high­way to be ex­pe­dited.

Hu­man chains were formed at Palape, Wad­khal Naka, Ko­lad and In­da­pur with the pro­test­ers distribut­ing leaflets to the mo­torists. Mum­bai-Goa high­way has be­come ac­ci­dent-prone. (Right) The protest by PWP work­ers.

The protest was launched by for­mer MLA Vivek Patil, PWP Raigad dis­trict sec­re­tary Balaram Patil and other top PWP lead­ers and NGOs.

Vivek Patil said, “The cit­i­zens and mo­torists have been fac­ing a num­ber of prob­lems on the high­way and so we de­cided on the hu­man chain protest against the in­ac­tive gov­ern­ment.”

He al­leged, “The cen­tral min­is­ter’s as­sur­ances have turned out to be hol­low. The guardian min­is­ter too had stated last Ganeshot­sav that the road will be ready by Ganeshot­sav. That too is not go­ing to hap­pen.”

BACHCHAN KU­MAR

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