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Old tram tracks unearthed during flyover work

Workers of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority on Monday unearthed parts of a tram track on the Dr B R Ambedkar Road while digging it for the construction of flyovers.

Written by Prashant Rangnekar | Mumbai |
January 20, 2010 12:03:48 am

Workers of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) on Monday unearthed parts of a tram track on the Dr B R Ambedkar Road while digging it for the construction of flyovers.

“We came across such tram tracks at 50-60 locations between Dadar TT and Lalbaug on the Dr Ambedkar Road. These tracks were not removed after the termination of tram service in the city. Over a period of time,they got buried,” said R Ramanna,additional chief (transport and communication),MMRDA.

The MMRDA is constructing three flyovers on the Dr Ambedkar Road— at Tilpule Chowk (Maheshwari Udyan),Hindmata flyover and Lalbaug flyover. “We don’t specifically look for these old tracks. We found it in bits and pieces whenever we dig the road during the construction work. We are not preserving it. The metal (tracks) goes as scrap,” he said.

The workers,who are already struggling not to damage the underground utilities,are facing a tough time now. “At some places we have removed the tracks as there was no option,” said a worker.

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The tram service was introduced in May 1874 and was replaced completely by the bus service in 1964. Initially,the tram service was operated by using horses— around 1,360 horses were used for pulling these trams— but in the first decade of the 20th century electric trams replaced them. Trams used to ply from Colaba to Pydhonie via Crawford Market. Later the services were extended to other parts of Central Mumbai like Grant Road,Wadi Bunder,Lalbaug and Opera House.

“They used to run on tracks. The journey was hassle-free and they (trams) caused less traffic congestion. Had they still existed,they could have solved the traffic woes to a large extent. It was just like Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) as it had a dedicated lane of its own,” said a BEST official.

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