After having been troubled by illegal squatters and shanties for more than a decade, the residents of the RTO lane in Andheri West breathed a sigh of relief on Saturday, when BMC officials razed 45 illegal shanties housing around 225 people, to the ground.
Although the civic body had made previous attempts to remove these illegal squatters, residents of these shanties kept returning. "They were a nuisance to the locals," said retired Major Arun Shirishkar, a resident of Rajmata building for 25 years. "These people used to loiter and jaywalk, because of which frequent accidents took place. They would also defecate in the open, and consume alcohol at the street corner after sunset."
Vijendra Pimpale, resident of Laxmi Nagar Maratha Society, said that in 2000, the number of shanties was not more than seven.
Dhaval Shah, founder of Lokhandwala Oshiwara Citizens Association (LOCA) said, "The illegal tenants of these shanties have also apparently been allotted SRA flats, yet they keep coming back."
"We have been carrying out demolitions here since 2005; the last one took place in 2013," said Shubhada Joshi, junior engineer, K/W ward.