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Saturday, July 27, 2013

13 years on, no post office at Lokhandwala

Lokhandwala residents could be in for a disappointment, once again. As they expected, the snail-paced work on the construction of a post office in Lokhandwala which was scheduled to be completed by this year has once again hit a roadblock. Officials from the postal office (administration) in Vile Parle (E) said the work on the post office has hardly progressed. They alleged that the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) have lost their file.
According to them, Mhada is neither willing to give the property to the postal department on lease, nor are they giving them a NOC to start construction of the post office on the designated plot.
"A month ago, Mhada authorities clearly told us that till they get back their file, they cannot do anything about the plot. We have also made a second RTI appeal to the state commission on April 22, but they told us that RTI appeals of 2011-2012 are on now, and they will call us on the arrival of our number," said sources from the department.
"After the Mhada forwards this request to the collector and then to the city survey office, can we start any work on the plot. We fear the piece of land stands chances of getting encroached," said Sujata Singh, deputy superindent, P&T headquarters. MP Gurudas Kamat in the presence of several dignitaries had inaugurated the plot on October 6, last year, which had been earmarked for a post office. Lokhandwala residents have been demanding a post office in the area for 13 years, since they had to navigate the thick Andheri traffic and come all the way to the Azad Nagar post office near Apna Bazaar or the Andheri (E) post office to send their documents. Kamat stayed unavailable for comments, despite repeated attempts.
"At times, residents receive the hard copy of their electricity bills after the due date. Authorities have time and again failed to understand the importance of constructing a post office in Lokhandwala, which has a population of over three lakh. Moreover, going all the way to the other post offices in the traffic is a pain," said Rajan Mehrotra, a resident. 

"Last time, when I visited the visited the then superintendent of P&T, More, I was told that plot was declared unfit for development for reasons we don't know. Now, this one's a new excuse. The plot is in a prime location and some builder must be eyeing it," said Ramesh Patil, a resident. Mhada officials, however, promised to try to look into the matter and fast-track it.

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