The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) as part of demolition of illegal structures for proposed road widening opposite Malad (West) Railway Station, on Wednesday, 28 December razed illegal portions of six different sweet shops, including a franchise of the famous ‘MM Mithaiwala’ at citing illegal alteration of properties.
The other two sweet shops demolished include ‘Delhi Sweets’ and ‘Jalpan’ snacks. The civic officials reveal that the demolition works were carried out for widening of the existing narrow road pending since long. Meanwhile, the shop owners, crying foul claimed that there was no illegality in their properties and the BMC took this step to “harass” the proprietors.
The aforementioned shops are located alongside the Kasturba Road, which is adjoining the western side of the Malad railway station. This road is also known as “station road” amongst locals and is the primary link between the railway station and S V Road. As a result, all public vehicles, including BEST buses, as well as private vehicles pass through this road regularly.
Reportedly, the hawkers and the shopping units as well have blatantly encroached on the road causing chock-a-block and creating hindrances for traffic and public movement.
Earlier, Several civic activists and citizens had carried out demonstrations protesting the appalling state of these roads.
As per Kiran Dighavkar, Assistant Municipal Commissioner, these structures obstruct the proposed road widening project due for several years now. The civic body officials had been following up on this issue since the shops carried out illegal extension of their properties it was creating traffic blockade every day.
The Assistant Municipal Commissioner further adds that removal of these structures has increased the road space that will hopefully bring respite to the daily commuters who are facing problems to navigate.
Out of the six shops, three were sweet shop franchises that include MM Mithaiwala Delhi Sweets and Jalpan while the other three were mobile and utility stores. The Civic Officials claim that each of these shops had extended two metres of their shops horizontally and 30 feet vertically.
Infact, the BEST authorities on multiple occasions have raised this matter stating that their buses would touch the portion of the shops since they are almost in the middle of the road.
An Officer of BEST stated that If the structures are removed it will ensure smooth flow of BEST buses apart other vehicles.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson of the MM-Mithaiwala franchise requesting anonymity however claims that there was no illegality in their property.
Their shop has been here for more than 60 years and have not received any notice stating that our property is illegal. The entire road outside the station is occupied by hawkers. Action is taken against only a select few.
The spokesperson of MM Mithaiwala further added that this attributes to nothing but just harassment. The authorities have been alleging that portions of the property are illegal, but, they haven’t been able to produce any documentary evidence yet.
With this big demolition drive Pravin Muluk Assistant Engineer ‘P ‘North and Sub Engineer Anand Nerulkar convey the clear message that illegal encroachment ,and unauthorised construction will not be tolerated anymore in the Civic Body’s ‘P’ North Ward vicinity.
Pravin Muluk, a dynamic and ‘Daabang’ officer of P North has clearly conveyed his message to all land mafia and illegal encouragers through this big demolition drive against MM Mithawala.
Kiran Digaonkar ward officer of P North also supported and appreciated this work carried out by his team.
Its now a clear fact that the illegal extention of MM Mithawala sweet shop, was causing heavy traffic jaam, the biggest problem, opposite the Malad Station. Following this demolition drive, local residents of Malad took a deep breath and appreciated the commendable work of P North officers.