Slow pace of Metro work adds to Kharghar res­i­dents’ prob­lems

CHAOS ON ROAD Thurs­day’s fa­tal ac­ci­dent at site high­lights lack of proper man­age­ment of project

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI - Tas­neem Kausar ht­for­nav­i­mum­bai@hin­dus­tan­times.com Metro work be­gan at Kharghar in 2011.

The res­i­dents of Kharghar have been fac­ing huge prob­lems due to the slow pace of Metro work.

There have been sev­eral fa­tal ac­ci­dents, traf­fic is­sues have in­creased and il­le­gal busi­nesses are on the rise, all caused by the snail’s pace with which the project is pro­gress­ing and by the lack of proper man­age­ment.

A 27-year-old biker was killed on Thurs­day af­ter he crashed into a parked crane near Papdi vil­lage along the Metro route. The in­ci­dent has raised con­cerns about the cit­i­zens’ safety within the project area.

A po­lice of­fi­cer said, “As the area was dark, the biker prob­a­bly could not see the crane that was parked right in the mid­dle of the road. He rode straight into it and died on the spot.”

The work on the 11.10-km long Metro rail project be­tween Be­la­pur and Pend­har has been pro­gress­ing at a snail’s pace. The work be­gan in 2011 and Cidco had said it would be com­pleted by 2015. Af­ter miss­ing its dead­line, there are doubts if the project will be com­pleted even by 2017.

The new man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Cidco Bhushan Ga­grani had, af­ter tak­ing over taken stock of pend­ing projects, given in­struc­tions for speed­ing up the project.

Kharghar res­i­dent Beena Singh said, “At sev­eral places there are no sign­boards an­nounc­ing that work is be­ing car­ried out. Mo­torists, es­pe­cially those who are new in the area, are of­ten taken by sur­prise.”

She added, “Along with the metro rail project, work on con­creti­sa­tion of the roads run­ning along with it is also un­der­way. This is lead­ing to traf­fic snarls in var­i­ous ar­eas. Roads are shut with­out no­tice with mo­torists of­ten hav­ing lit­tle in­for­ma­tion about it be­fore­hand.”

An­other res­i­dent Kishore Gaik­wad said, “Kharghar is de­vel­op­ing fast and is a part of Cidco’s South Navi Mum­bai smart city project. But, the traf­fic is­sues are a blot to the plan.”

He said, “There is a need for park­ing lots in the node. Due to lack of such fa­cil­ity, there are reg­u­lar traf­fic snarls in sec­tor 15 at D Mart, sec­tor 7 area near Hi­ranan­dani com­plex.”

Res­i­dents of the area said that il­le­gal busi­nesses have cropped up by tak­ing ad­van­tage of the Metro work. “Peo­ple take ad­van­tage of the pil­lars and start busi­nesses like a garage that have come up in sec­tor 24 of Kharghar,” said Jagdish Mha­tre, an­other res­i­dent.

Mha­tre said mo­torists have a dif­fi­cult find­ing space to park. “Since last week, the Kharghar traf­fic po­lice have been tak­ing strict ac­tion against ve­hi­cles parked il­le­gally.”

A Cidco of­fi­cial said pre­cau­tions are be­ing taken and is­sues raised by Kharghar res­i­dents are be­ing ad­dressed.

HT FILE PHOTO

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