In the run-up to municipal elections Navi Mumbai is abuzz with hectic activities. On the one hand, prospective candidates and party leaders are on campaign trail to woo voters, on the other, major civic works have been initiated.
A couple of weeks back, NMMC had initiated redevelopment works of main roads of Vashi as well as Koper Khairane. Instead of being a blessing, the exercise is proving to be a headache for residents. As it is, the traffic movement on roads has increased with candidates and their supporters moving out on roads for campaigning.
Kaushal Malhotra, an employee of Q&Q Research Insight, Sector 29 Vashi says, “I stay in Kharghar and usually it takes me around 40 minutes to reach my office. Unfortunately, since the road works have been initiated, it takes me around one and half hours to get to office. This is ridiculous”.
Pratik Gawda, resident of Sector-9 Vashi adds, “The whole stretch from Shivaji Chowk to Arenja Corner has been taken up for redevelopment at one time, blocking the whole road. This stretch has two entrances linking Sector-17 to Sector-16 which is usually used by residents, if the corporation would have undertaken the work phase-wise, it could have been a big relief. Now, we have to go all the way two either end for to and fro”.
Sunita Sharma, resident of Sector-17, Vashi says, “Sector-16 has a school and a college, where hundreds of students come to study. As the stretch has been made one-way, little kid have to either get down or board buses on the fast-moving Palm Beach road, risking their lives. BEST bus drivers hardly stop at the temporary bus stop and NMMT has not even done that. This creates chaos and bus commuters have to run behind buses up to the signal of Mahatma Phule Hall of Sector-17”.
Even as residents are displeased with inconvenience on roads, the din of campaigning has not left them with any peace at home also. Though the election is scheduled for April 11, hordes of candidates and their supporters have been approaching them for garnering their support in the guise of cross-checking their names in the voting list. The number of candidates is so high that from each ward at least five to ten candidates are fighting for one seat.
Concerned residents complain that neither NMMC nor Police have issued proper guidelines for political rally organizers and directly or indirectly residents are bearing the heat of election din.