To reduce congestion on the main roads of the city, the BMC is planning about 40 new roads by 2019, which will help in avoiding many long detours and lead to smoother traffic movement.
Touted as a cost effective measure in comparison to other solutions, the BMC will be conducting a detailed survey of these proposed roads before starting work on them next month.
Instead of the usual practice of building flyovers, the BMC has decided to adopt the less costly solution of creating short roads to serve as alternate routes. The civic body plans to utilise these roads to bring down congestion as well as pollution.
“After these roads are functional, the traffic on the main arterial roads will be diverted to these short roads currently not being used. The detailed survey, which will determine the extent of encroachments on the proposed road if any and finalise the design as well as the width of the road, will be conducted on a departmental level,” said additional municipal commissioner SVR Srinivas.
Among the proposed roads at prominent locations, one lies in G-South ward connecting Lala Lajpat Rai Road and the junction of Senapati Bapat Marg and E. Moses Road in Parel. After the completion of the roads, vehicles coming from south Mumbai will no longer have to take a detour till Worli Naka to go towards Parel.
Similarly, in L-ward, a short road has been proposed to divert traffic from the Santa Cruz-Chembur link road to Kirol Road towards Vidyavihar instead of taking a parallel road
near Sakinaka. In the past decade, the share of public transport in the city’s traffic has substantially dropped from 83% in 2005 to 61.2% in 2015. However, the number of private vehicles as well as autos and taxis have more than doubled.
The introduction of private taxi services like Uber, Meru, Radio Taxi among various others are responsible for the drop in the public transport. A civic official stated that though the effect is more visible in BEST buses, trains have been affected too.
“The BEST buses used to ferry about 4 million people but the numbers are much lower now. Even in trains, most people only use it for long distance travel while short distance travel has gone down since people now opt for a taxi or an auto instead,” said a civic official.
The official added that while the number of private vehicles have been steadily rising, there hasn’t been much change in the road network in the city.
“As per the survey in the mobility plan, an average of 600 new vehicles are registered everyday. We, thus, have to create a plan of decongesting the existing roads in the city,” the official said.
The entire process of creating these new alternate routes will be done in three stages- by 2019, 2024 and 2034. The selection of the proposed roads has been done on the basis of impact and the roads which will be completed first are the ones in populated areas and have been selected in terms of urgency. The proposed roads recommended in the comprehensive mobility plan for the city are not completely developed roads and currently don’t figure in the development plan either.