With the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) set to witness construction of a slew of infrastructure projects in the coming months, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has once again asked offices in the business district to stagger their work timings to avoid traffic gridlocks. “In a meeting with the MMRDA on Thursday we discussed the possible alternatives to deal with the traffic chaos expected in BKC once construction begins. We are glad they are taking proactive steps in view of the congestion expected in the coming months,” said Jayesh Shah, president, BKC property owners’ association.
Traffic in BKC is set to get worse soon with barricades for several projects being erected. The construction of the underground Metro 3 corridor has already begun and has now moved to the central median at the Income Tax office junction. The MMRDA has also begun placing barricades for the elevated Metro 2B corridor. Terminals for the Bullet train and the Hyperloop are also to be constructed in the BKC. Meanwhile, the construction of the Kalanagar flyover is also set to begin at the same stretch. Keeping this in mind, the MMRDA has suggested some alternatives to deal with the traffic menace.
“They have suggested that we stagger the work timings of our offices between 8 am and 12 noon and people can report to work in these slots. However, we do not think it will be possible to stagger it till 12 noon as it will become too late for the women employees. We have already staggered timings from 9 am to 11 am and people are free to punch in during that time,” said Shah.
However, staggered timings may not be possible for all organisations. “Private organisations and institutions can work on this suggestion. But it will not be possible for government offices in E Block as it will not suit them,” he said.
The MMRDA has also suggested that they will offer them the newly acquired hybrid buses to dissuade employees from driving their private cars. “We can provide the companies our hybrid buses in bulk and the employees can commute to work in them. We have also asked them for their suggestions and we will sit with BEST to study them,” said a senior MMRDA official.
It has also suggested that the employees switch to carpooling. “Instead of every person bringing his vehicle to work they have suggested that we carpool. But it raises some issues like security. We will consider these suggestions and we will be having another meeting with them in a week,” added Shah. “We have asked the association whether they want to stagger the work timings. We will take their suggestions,” said Dilip Kawathkar, spokesperson, MMRDA.
The MMRDA is also planning an International Financial Services Centre in the BKC which is set to bring more employees and clients with them, adding to more traffic.
Mitul Zaveri, who works at the Diamond Bourse in BKC, does not feel a change in work hours will help BKC. “Most organisations have their head office here and have their branch offices abroad. The work timings there are different. Companies cannot change their work timings according to development projects in India,” he said.
The MMRDA has suggested the association to stagger timings last year in November as well. However the plan did not take off. But with these projects soon to take over the roads they will need to zero in on a solution to prevent BKC from facing major congestion.