BMC splits up its most populous ward to serve better; ₹20 cr to be spent on offices | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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BMC splits up its most populous ward to serve better; 20 cr to be spent on offices

Jan 05, 2024 06:48 AM IST

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in Mumbai is dividing the K-east ward into two separate wards, K-north and K-south, to better manage civic issues and development strategies. The K-east ward is currently the most populous in the city, with a population of 10 lakh. The split will bring the total number of administrative wards in the city to 26. The split is expected to benefit residents in areas such as Andheri east, Vile Parle east, and Jogeshwari east, who will have easier access to ward offices and services. The process of shifting departments to the new wards will take at least six months.

Mumbai: The K-east ward, enveloping Andheri east, Vile Parle east and Jogeshwari east, is considered the most populous of the 25 wards in the city. The 2011 census marked its population at 10 lakh. Over time, its steady growth made it a challenge for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to manage civic issues and plan development strategies. This has prompted the civic body to bifurcate K-east into two wards for ease of management and rendering services easily.

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K-east will be divided into K-north, comprising a part of Andheri east and Jogeshwari east, and K-south, comprising a part of Andheri east and Vile Parle east. Approximately 20 crore will be spent on electrical and civil works in the new ward offices. It will take the number of administrative wards to 26.

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This move comes almost three months after the P-north ward (Malad west) was split in October 2022 – before it was split into P-east and P-west, it was considered the most populous, catering to 12 lakh people.

Today, offering adequate infrastructure support and public amenities to K-east ward is a challenge as areas such as MIDC, SEEPZ and Milan Subway fall in its ambit. It has a geographical area spanning 16.8 sq km, comprising 15 councillor wards. Of this, eight will now be in K-north ward and seven in K-south ward.

Manish Valanju, assistant commissioner, K-east, will continue to helm the newly formed wards. The process of shifting all 17 departments in K-north ward in Jogeshwari will take at least six months. “The ward will be decentralised and there will be no inconvenience to citizens. It becomes difficult to administratively manage a big ward,” said Valanju.

He said K-east ward’s main issues are water supply, solid waste management and drainage. “Jogeshwari predominantly comprises slum pockets. It will help the residents to have the K-north ward in their proximity. After splitting, people living in Jogeshwari or north side of the ward will be able to access K-north easily than travelling to Gundavali. All 17 departments will be there,” said Valanju.

So now, citizens who had to travel to K-east ward office near the Andheri east railway station to pay taxes, get certificates or resolve any other civic issue, will be saved the long commute. The split will benefit the people residing on JVLR and Jogeshwari.

Valanju added a temporary office for K-north ward is being set up and the post of ward officer is being created. The K-south ward office will continue to operate from the present K-east ward office in Gundavali, Andheri east.

A civic official from K-east ward, added, “The K-north ward office will operate from the third, fourth and fifth floors of the building proposal office at Poonam Nagar, Jogeshwari.”

The present proposal was cleared one-and-a-half years ago by the standing committee, but its implementation has been slow. Local MLA Ravindra Waikar had first raised the issue of the populous ward in the assembly, while the proposal was mooted by then councillor Anant Nar in November 2019.

The BMC-appointed two-member panel, comprising joint municipal commissioners Bharat Marathe and Sunil Dhamne, had proposed the splits of K-east and L wards in 2022. BMC is yet to act on the latter, which encompasses Kurla.

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