After years of notoriety as one of the worst traffic bottlenecks in Mumbai, commuters passing the Mith Chowky junction in Malad (west) are now in for a relief as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) plans to construct a flyover here.
During peak hours, around 18,000 to 20,000 vehicles pass the four-way intersection, which crosses from Jogeshwari to Dahisar on the New-Link Road in the north-south direction and from Malad railway station to Marve in the east-west direction.
The traffic signal at this intersection (also known as the Uncles’ Kitchen junction) has the second-longest signal cycle in Mumbai, running for 180 seconds at a stretch. “We have proposed the construction of a flyover at the junction in the north-south direction. Our traffic studies of the area show that commuters have been facing a particularly difficult time in the area, and this was one of the ways in which we felt we could ease the problem,” said Additional Municipal Commissioner SVR Srinivas.
During the run up to the Lok Sabha elections, in the Mumbai North constituency, the traffic woes around the junction featured as a critical issue in the area that both MP candidates, BJP (Gopal Shetty) and Congress (Sanjay Nirupam), had sought to address.
According to officials in the bridges department, a two-by-two lane flyover in the north-south direction running for at least 500m on either side of the junction is under consideration as a possible option to cut down travel time near this bottleneck.
The department recently submitted its proposal for the flyover to the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) for scrutiny, for which it has now received an in-principle approval. “We were awaiting the MMRDA remarks on the plan as the flyover coincides with a portion of the revised Metro Line 2, Bandra-Mankhurd-Dahisar corridor, which has been aligned in the same area.
Now that we have them on board, we have appointed two consultants to formulate the project plan. It is still in its nascent stage, and none of the details have been finalised yet,” said a senior civic official in the bridges department.
“We hope to issue the tender next month,” Srinivas added.The civic body is also mulling a flyover at the Juhu Vile Parle Development scheme (JVPD) junction. “We are still in the process of carrying out traffic studies and possible alignment for the bridge. We have an idea about the direction in which the bridge should run in, but we would like to scientifically establish whether east-west or north-south the bridge will work better. The MMRDA had earlier carried out a traffic study on the area. We are trying to procure a copy of that report,” Srinivas said.