The site is situated at the edge of Thane creek and adjacent to Thane central Jail and its immediate context also includes Kalwa Bridge which is actively used by many people which connects Thane to Navi Mumbai and is an important transportation node for lots of people daily. As the site is situated at the edge of the crucial ecological entity- Thane creek, it holds great potential for the endangered biodiversity of the city and has significance in the city’s urban ecosystem. But due to rapid urbanisation and industrialisation, Thane creek has been polluted and misused for illegal dumping waste and through flow of industrial effluents which is damaging the ecology of the creek for decades now. The site is government owned and is used as a temporary scrapyard and also edges of the site as observed are being used for illegally dumping waste thus leading to negative perception and conceived as wasteland in urban context which holds no potential and no purpose in the urban realm. As there is Central Jail also besides the site, it creates a sense of insecurity and no sense of belonging across the neighbourhood. The site is divided by a tributary of the creek which flows into the city and it is all misused for dumping urban waste by the people of the neighbourhood.
Rabodi Police Naka
Rabodi Police Naka, Thane, Maharashtra, India, Mumbai, India
Site dimensions: 17,000 (approx)
It is currently owned by the traffic police department and used for dumping old abandoned cars. Half of the site is used by the traffic police to toll the scooters and temporary sheds for traffic police which is in dilapidated condition. The development plan shows the usage of the site as a police station which is currently there at different locations in the proposal.
In the development plan, it has been proposed for a police station while there is already a police station in the neighbourhood which has been in use for many years and efficiently working. The development has no intention to provide the space for community-oriented activities. The proposed development plans have also indicated certain loopholes such as half of the site is extended water body and half of the site proposed is road network thus leading to more discrepancies to work with. There is less no. of dedicated spaces for recreation and community engagement in the neighbourhood and this site can prove to be of utmost potential use for the locals and for communal activities. It can prove to be beneficial in the long run and also promote ideas of recycling, upcycling and ecological green corridors for the future.
The site has been under government owned since independence and there is no sign of any structure which was built up in this space. The neighbourhood itself has developed in recent 30 years only as the city had a lot of forests and agricultural lands. The city itself has seen rapid urbanisation due to its proximity to Mumbai as well as Navi Mumbai and thus has been progressing since then. The site has been misused since then, and it is observed that waste has been accumulated since decades and even the worn-out old trucks, cars and buses which are abandoned are brought down here and there is no security as such to this place as it is given to traffic control police.
Thus, no one is allowed to enter without permission at half of the site, while another half of the site has never been used and has no security, it is fenced but it seems as if no one owns it hence misused by the illegal settlers, homeless people and people who have animals such as horses are fed here illegally.
The site has four access points of which two are legal where traffic police work in a temporary shed area. The other two access points are open to anybody as there is no one who actually would enter these points, there are buses parked all around the site, and mostly no one seems to be there except for truck owners and it gives a sense of insecurity and danger on this site, though it also gives a sense of transgression and feeling of freedom of no one gives feeling of owning that land.
There are two sites which are divided by the tributary/ Nallah of the creek and the first one is triangular shaped wherein front edge facing the creek is half fenced while half is not and the back edge of the site is also half way fenced which is used for tolling scooters for a certain area, while after a certain part of the site it remains open but illegal settlements are observed right at this edge.
The second site is a temporary scrapyard wherein the edge which faces the creek is not fenced and there is a lot of vegetation and trees beneath which there is illegal dumping of paper and cardboard waste dumped while the other edge of the site has concrete compound wall from where there is no opening. There is also a police quarter house which is one storey structure where the policemen live together without families and it is just a temporary arrangement in which they live.
Temporary scrapyard, illegal settlements