Vashi locals block Sion-Panvel highway, demand service road

Around 200 people protested on Sion-Panvel highway at Vashi on Monday, demanding a service road and other infrastructure amenities.

In the protest organised by Navi Mumbai Samajik Punarvasan Sanstha, the agitators held placards and blocked the highway until they were cleared by the police within minutes.

However, the protest continued by the roadside for about an hour.

The protesters said a service road will facilitate a quick and easy access to Vashi gaon and Vashi node where there are a number of hospitals.

Prashant Bhoir, 52, a resident of Vashi gaon, said they would reach home faster if a service road is built.

“Though our village is located beside the creek bridge, we have to go all the way till Vashi and then take a U-turn to reach our home. This also leads to an increase in traffic.”

“Our primary demand is that the work on the long pending service road connecting to the three subways on the highway be completed at the earliest. It is vital for the safety of Vashi residents,” Dashrath Bhagat, president of the Sanstha.

Swati Bhagat, 40, a resident of Vashi gaon, said, “We have to risk our lives to get to Vashi node as we have cross the busy highway. With no speed breaker on the road and the subway in pathetic condition, it is a nightmare.”

Navi Mumbai Youth Congress president Nishant Bhagat said work on the Sion-Panvel highway is almost complete and there is no sign of building an access road. “It is obvious that there are plans to close access from the highway to Vashi gaon and from the opposite side in Vashi to the highway, though it had been approved earlier. We have been raising the issue, but public works department and Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) have turned a blind eye to it,” said Bhagat.

He added, “We will intensify our agitation if our demands are not fulfilled soon.”

The protesters submitted a memorandum of demands to the PWD executive engineer, who refused to speak to the media on the demands.

First Published:
May 28, 2019 00:18 IST

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