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Inside Story April 2019

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FOB in JVLR Powai in shambles.

Although Powai is blessed with over a dozen FOBs-Foot Over Bridges, surprisingly, not a single pedestrian could be seen availing of the FOB facilities during the evening. Malthi Kembhavi, local resident of the nearby Raheja Complex who uses them says,"All bridges beginning from L&T to IIT Powai are extremely dirty, filled with garbage, not maintained for months. Steps leading to bridges are removed or damaged. Urchins, homeless people have been staying up there, bedding, utensils, etc. are found. The smell of urine is simply all over the FOB makes it simply impossible for people to walk on it. The entire bridges are not lit after 6 pm, pitch dark, one can miss steps while walking, there is no scope for traffic or road lights to enter the bridges due to height. Fresh huge hoardings are covered on either side of the bridge, how are they allowed, it makes even more suffocating, dark and dangerous as those 25 steps are precarious there is absolute darkness. Easy prey for mugging or chain snatching as there are not many individuals crossing over the bridge after 6 pm. No security or police or Marshal beats to supervise the bridges." 
Adds Malthi that it is a shame that so much money is wasted on these bridges, "Late after 8 pm the bridges are used as hideouts for couples smooching and romancing. You can notice people smoking not sure if it is weed, young kids huddled together. As Powai is considered the best part of Mumbai, and the lake which is the face value of  Powai it must maintain the security of its citizens."

Many pedestrians regularly take the FOBs during the daytime, but nobody wants to use them after dark. There are lights fitted across most of these bridges, but none of them work. Pedestrians choose to risk their lives by crossing the road which has high dividers and more than four lanes, instead of taking these bridges.

While a few of the FOBs on the Powai Lake stretch are lit up, most of them have garbage strewn at their corners. Pan stains and food as well as Ghutka packaging littering along the bridges are habitually seen. Please report any culprits you see damaging the FOB directly to the local police.

(Elsie Gabriel is an award winning post graduate certified Green Teacher and Environmental Law expert. With twenty years of writing experience she has travelled to remote corners of the earth researching, photographing, documenting facts that bind the threads of anthropological wonder. Powai runs in her veins)