To ease congestion on the road leading to Khar Road station, the BMC is giving a makeover to the entrance of the railway station frequented by passengers of the harbour as well as the western lines.
The proposal made a decade ago received the green signal from the civic administration a couple of months ago and work is expected to be completed in another month.
While the widening process as well as installing stormwater drains in the 1st and 3rd Roads have been going on for the past couple of weeks, the BMC will construct seating arrangements for daily wage workers who currently sit on the road adding to traffic congestion.
The project includes construction of bus shelters and auto-stands as well as traffic, and island garden with the installation of a sculpture.
Other project works will include making a provision for street furnitures and setting up lighting arrangements. The food stalls and other encroachments at the entrance of the station will, meanwhile, be demolished.
M Z Syed, assistant engineer, H-West ward, said, “The redevelopment of Khar west station precinct was proposed in 2006 by the BMC administration. The proposal aims to smoothen traffic flow, besides beautifying and improving the station premises.”
He added that in 2006, a consultant had been hired to draw up a plan, which, however, could not be executed.
The consultant had estimated a cost of about Rs 4 crore.
The H-West officials, however, redesigned the plan and now estimate a cost of Rs 60 lakh for all the 11 proposed works.
“The materials proposed in the earlier plan was not viable for an area outside a busy railway station. We thus made certain changes and will be using sturdy and long-lasting material, easier to maintain and replace if broken,” said Syed, adding that the work is expected to be complete by mid-May.
The large BEST buses are part of the problem and need to reverse at the entrance of the station causing the traffic to slow down even further.
“We had a meeting with the BEST officials and they have agreed to re-route their buses to ensure that they move in one direction,” said assistant municipal commissioner Sharad Ughade.
As part of the project, ward officials are planning to clean and reduce the size of the pigeon-shelter (kaburtarkhana) near the station to facilitate traffic movement.
It has been a major bone of contention among the residents living in the area and they have long wanted it to be removed.
Anandini Thakoor of the Khar Residents Association stated that though the redevelopment of the Khar Road station area is welcome, the pigeon shelter and the cow shed are major hurdles that need to be removed.
“The Jain people wanted it and now the administration is unwilling to remove the pigeon shelter due to religious reasons. The pigeon shelter is nothing but a nuisance and health hazard for residents. The roads leading to the station are crucial and desperately need to be improved,” she said.