The shuttered Mahim subway is open for public use from Tuesday, and this time with security guards provided by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
The 4,000 sq feet subway which connects Veer Savarkar Marg with Muhammad Ali Rogey Nakhuda garden at Lady Jamshedji Road junction, is the second subway in the city which has security guards. The subway is unshuttered in the morning by Advance Locality Management (ALM) members, residents of Mahim with of G-North ward officials.
There are two security deployed by the civic body who will work shift wise, 12 hours shift each. However, BMC feels that the security guards for the subway will not serve the purpose.
Taking consideration the high pedestrian volume on Lady Jamshedji Road, BMC constructed the subway in 2008. It was inaugurated in September, 2008, but was shuttered immediately for security reasons. In redux, it was opened in February 2016, however, was again shut a day later. The residents of Mahim have been demanding security at the subway.
“In February when the subway reopened, the next day we saw the railing of staircase were destroyed. Thus, considering the safety of citizens, we decided that security is must for the subway. Accordingly, we met Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta, who then passed orders to provide security guards”, said Anwar Shaikh, chairman of Dargah street ALM.
Irfan Machiwala, a social activist in Mahim said, “The BMC has taken loan of Rs 3 crore from World Bank for constructing this subway. If it is not ustilised by the public, what is the use of building it. We demanded for security as the area has many drug addicts which can be safety threat for the pedestrians. As the civic body has provided security, we are happy that the subway will be used by pedestrians now. The Lady Jamshedji Road has traffic issues, thus, this subway will be of great convenience, specially for school children”, he added.
However, the Assistant Commissioner of G-North ward, Ramakant Biradar said that it is not BMC’s responsibility to provide security for subways, skywalks etc. If the residents feel insecure, then they have to ask police to provide security. “We have appointed security guards at Mahim subway just because the residents demanded. But, it is hardly of any use. In any criminal incident, the BMC security guard has authority to take any action. It will anyways be onus of the police”, Biradar told DNA.
The Mahim subway which was planned almost a decade ago from Veer Savarkar Marg to Lady Jamshedji Road, Saint Micheal School, taking into consideration the traffic issues in the area and heavy pedestrian volume. However, less than the length of the planned subway was constructed in 2008, which was till Muhammad Ali Rogey Nakhuda garden on Lady Jamshedji Road junction. But due to the shoddy planning of BMC, the construction of the remaining stretch was left incomplete.