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Saturday, June 25, 2022

Mumbai Dug Up: Six years after Metro work began on E Moses Road, commuters & locals see no end to traffic woes

Ongoing Mumbai Metro Line 3 construction work, barricades, and heavy traffic impact motorists and local traders.

By: Express News Serivce | Mumbai |
Updated: June 3, 2022 3:17:59 pm
The E Moses Road stretches from Mahalaxmi railway station to Worli Naka.

Location: Dr. Elijah Moses Road or E Moses Road between Worli Naka and Mahalaxmi Race Course in Worli, Mumbai.

Dug-up For: Construction of Mumbai Metro Line 3 stations and tunneling work between the stretch of the proposed Acharya Atre Marg and Mahalaxmi stations on E Moses Road.

Mumbai Metro Line-3 will run along the Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ corridor connecting Mumbai’s key financial hubs. (Express Photo by Ganesh Shirsekar)

Importance of project: Mumbai Metro Line-3 will run along the Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ corridor connecting Mumbai’s key financial hubs. Once implemented, MML-3 will reduce traffic by about 35% or by 4.5 lakh vehicles, leading to the decongestion of roads. Travel time will be reduced to 50 minutes from 100 minutes on the route.

Implementing agency: Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (MMRCL), a joint venture of the Government of India and the Government of Maharashtra

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The total cost of the project: While the initial cost was Rs 23,000 crore, it has now been revised to Rs 33,000 crore+

Work started: 2016

Initial deadline: June 2022

Revised deadline: After 2024

Reasons cited for delays: Pending civil, electric and station works on the stretch. Also, the issue of the Metro 3 car shed issue at Aarey Colony and Kanjurmarg over which the state and central governments are at loggerheads.

The importance of the road: The E Moses Road stretches from Mahalaxmi railway station to Worli Naka. It sees heavy traffic as motorists travel back and forth from the western end of central Mumbai like Worli and Dadar (West) to go to South Mumbai or eastern Mumbai via Mahalaxmi stations east-west bridge. Rakhangi Chowk is an intersection on the E Moses Road at Mahalaxmi Race Course where vehicles pass in from three sides (Worli Naka, Mahalaxmi station, and Lower Parel.)

The E Mosses road is a witness of heavy traffic on a daily basis. (File photo)

Barricades on two of the three sides of Rakhangi Chowk ((Lower Parel and Worli Naka sides) and barricades on both sides of E Moses Road on its Worli Naka stretch create a bottleneck during peak hours.

“There is a lot of traffic due to the barricading on E Moses Road right from Worli Naka till Science Centre. Two U-turns near the BMC garage and the BMC office have been removed so we get stuck in traffic. The three lanes for vehicles and the fourth parking lane are reduced to just two lanes,” complains Pradeep Jaiswal, a taxi driver who stays near Worli Naka. “Our taxi stand has also been removed making it difficult to drop passengers. Due to traffic and fuel, our valuable time gets wasted and this affects our daily business.”

“There is a lot of traffic due to the barricading on E Moses Road right from Worli Naka till Science Centre,” complained Pradeep Jaiswal, a taxi driver who stays near Worli Naka.   (Express Photo by Ganesh Shirsekar)

Problems caused by the project: Ashok Chedda, 62, who runs Ashok Tea Centre, a general store for over 60 years at Worli Naka on E Moses Road said, “Our business is affected by almost 75 percent due to this Metro work going on since 2016. Several shops shut down in our area. For the first two years, we could not even speak as the drilling noise was so loud. There was a spate of burglaries as well due to the narrow lanes. The target was 2021 but it seems it will take a few more years. Now, there is no parking space for customers as barricades have come up right in front of our shop. Even senior citizens who were our customers do not come here due to the dug-up road.”

Rajesh Jethani, 54, who runs his ancestral Sunbeam Guest House, which is 45 years old, said, “Seventy percent of our business got affected due to this Metro work as there is no proper access to our guesthouse. Some part of the pavement is gone and the road outside our premises is dug up four floors down. In the first few years, many customers left as there was too much drilling noise. There was some parking slot in a nearby area but that went after the Metro work started. Now customers are coming through word of mouth reviews.”

A 57-year-old official from BMC engineering hub near Worli Naka, who lives in Malad, said, “While going home, I walk around 2 km daily to Mahalaxmi railway station instead of waiting for a shared taxi as it is mostly unavailable and has long queues. BEST bus frequency is not good and further, it’s overcrowded and people are hanging out of the door. Most people in our office travel on the central line and as the Delisle Road bridge i.e., the east-west bridge at Lower Parel, is under repair, people have to use either Elphinstone or Mahalaxmi route to reach stations on the central line. Due to traffic jams owing to Metro work, vehicular traffic has increased.”

““While going home, I walk around 2 km daily to Mahalaxmi railway station instead of waiting for a shared taxi as it is mostly unavailable and has long queues,” a Malad resident said. (Express Photo by Ganesh Shirsekar)

A traffic police constable posted at Rakhangi Chowk said, “As Delisle Bridge at Lower Parel is under repair, the vehicular traffic towards south Mumbai from Delisle Road gets diverted here. Also, during peak hours, there is a heavy flow of traffic at this chowk. The Metro work has added to the traffic woes but people use Google Maps to avoid this road.”

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