Coastal Road project: Malabar Hill residents write to BMC, seek access from Priyandarshni Park
File photo

Fears of traffic congestion, haphazard planning has prompted residents of Breach Candy, Napean Sea Road and adjoining areas to write to the civic authority's suggesting ideas to prevent traffic snarls and chaos once the ambitious Coastal Road project comes up. Members of Breach Candy Residents Association have demanded that an entry and exit point from the Coastal Road should be given between Priyandarshni Park in Napean Sea road and Embassy apartment.

In the letter dated October 15, the Breach Candy Resident's Association president has stated, "At the outset, we are in agreement with the Coastal Road project. One major entry point is situated in the heart of Bhulabhai Desai road which will cater to residents of Cumbala Hill, comprising of Carmicheal road, Altamount road, August Kranti Marg, Peddar Road, Mahalaxmi as well as Grant road, Nana Chowk, Tardeo and other internal roads. Whereas Breach Candy, which is predominantly a residential area has only two exits from Mahalaxmi and Kemps Corner. This will create bottlenecks at both ends once the coastal road comes up."

Elaborating on the issue president of Breach Candy Resident's Association -- Ashok Gupta said, "We have suggested a feasible and win-win alternative of the entry and exit point of the interchange and to use the vacant adjacent area between Priyadarshni Park and Embassy Apartments. This area has been utilised by the MSRDC for over a decade for the precise purpose of construction an interchange for the earlier Worli- Nariman points sea link. However, now we have heard that authorities are planning to use the land for some other purpose."

The road was proposed as per a transportation survey that civic authorities had conducted in 2006. Transportation surveys study all forms of public and private transport available in a city to determine future transport needs.

However, many internal roads in the area are relatively narrow roads that currently allow for just two lanes of traffic in each direction. Since the coastal road is meant to be an eight-lane highway, traffic jams at the bottleneck are inevitable.

Gupta added, "The Municipal Corporation is spending over 14,000 crore on the Coastal Road. It runs through Malabar Hill, however, there is no access for residents of Malabar Hill themselves. They will have to go to Breach Candy to access the same through narrow road and bottleneck or continue to use the old route. After spending so much money, how will it benefit the residents of Malabar Hill?

Which route will the Chief Minister, MLA's and our Judges take to travel to their workplace?"

Besides ecological concerns, the feasibility of the coastal road is itself under question.

In its letter, the association has also demanded that all the encroachments in the form of shanties be cleared or build a compound wall to ensure encroachment is not expanded further and ensure roads are widened.

"Its been more than 10 days since we wrote the letter to the Additional Municipal Commissioner Ashwini Bhide, however, there has been no reply from her side yet. We are now planning to take this matter with the chief minister himself. If something needs to be done, it has to be initiated now, it will be too late otherwise," added Gupta.

Ashiwini Bhide, however could not be reached, despite several attempts.

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