Mumbai Mirror | Sep 5, 2015: If you are a claustrophobic and drive home to the western suburbs every evening, we suggest you take the train. Yesterday (Friday), the Public Works Department issued a government resolution to facilitate the widening of two vehicular subways (at Andheri and Jogeshwari), and the construction work will further cripple the traffic on the Western Express Highway.
The plan is to double the capacity of the two subways: one near the Parsi Panchayat at Andheri, which will be widened at the cost of Rs 20.27 crore, and the other at the Janata colony in Jogeshwari (E), where the construction will cost Rs 17.41 crore.
The news is likely to hit the hundreds of thousands of motorists hard, as it already takes anywhere between two to three hours to drive from south Mumbai to Borivali. It has been just a couple of months since there has been a slight improvement in the traffic situation on the Western Express Highway following the completion of the Kherwadi flyover, and new constructions have the motorists worried.
Borivali resident Kunal Mainkar said that already, the traffic chaos on the Goregaon flyover is “dreadful”, and bottlenecks at more spots will mean that it might take people up to three hours to reach home.
“The traffic on the Western Express Highway is very chaotic. If one leaves Dadar at 5 pm, it takes at least a three-hour drive to reach Borivali. This work will cause further delays,” Mainkar said.
The arterial highways (Western and Eastern Express Highways) had been widened a few years ago, but the burgeoning traffic, especially on the western line, has been causing severe traffic jams at Goregaon and Dahisar almost daily. Now, bottlenecks are likely to be caused at Andheri and Jogeshwari as well.
MLA Atul Bhatkhalkar from Kandivali (E), who drives all the way to south Mumbai daily, agreed the already slow ride will get slower. “It will cause some inconvenience to the commuters but let us look at the long term benefits. It is better to have subways,” he said. A senior official from the Public Works Department said that it was necessary to widen the vehicular subways to tackle the traffic menace.
The traffic police top brass said that it will ensure the work is completed as per the deadline. Joint Commissioner of Police (traffic) Milind Bharambe said that work will start only post monsoon.
“The traffic inconvenience will definitely increase. The contractors must finish work on time and we will ensure that. While giving a no-objection certificate, the traffic police will ensure the best technology is used to complete the projects on time,” Bharambe said.
SOURCE: Yogesh Naik, Mumbai Mirror | Sep 5, 2015