If there were an award for the ‘worst traffic chaos days’ in Mumbai, the weekend just gone by would have won it hands down. On Saturday and Sunday, when the crowds thronged the roads to celebrate Raksha Bandhan, the traffic police simply vanished as tens of thousands of vehicles jostled for space on the Western Express Highway and the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road, two of Mumbai’s most notorious stretches when it comes to traffic jams.
Hundreds of citizens took to social media, linking Twitter handles of Aaditya Thackeray, the Chief Minister’s Office, the Mumbai Police, and various BMC and other government department officials, complaining about the potholes that turned a 30-minute journey into a two-hour ordeal and anything longer a back-breaking, frustrating crawl. Autorickshaw and aggregate cab drivers are complaining about potholes damaging their vehicles.
While Mumbai’s politicians, who are escorted by police vehicles and rarely encounter traffic jams, probably remained unaware about the chaos on the roads, agencies such as the BMC, MMRDA and the MSRDC, which maintain roads in Mumbai, shamelessly played the blame game when this newspaper got in touch with them.
We look at the causes of such traffic jams, and why they will keep occurring.
The biggest cause of traffic chaos. While the Western Express Highway and the the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road have their share of potholes, the situation turns grim and one enters the interiors of the suburbs, from where traffic flows towards the Western Express Highway. The stretch in Dharavi on the Sion-Bandra Link Road, Malvani in Malad West, the Link Road from Dahisar right up to Goregaon, and several stretches in Kandivali and Borivali have some of the worst roads in terms of potholes.
The two major arterial roads – the SV Road from Bandra to Dahisar, and the LBS Marg from Sion to Mulund – have huge craters, thereby considerably slowing down traffic.
The Metro rail construction has taken up large portions of the Western Express Highway at several spots, reducing traffic speed to around 5 kmph for most part of the day. As reported by this newspaper, two more infrastructure projects have now come up on the Western Express Highway. The first is at Malad Flyover near The Times of India press, where an embankment is being created, and the second is the widening of the Akurli subway in Kandivali.
The BMC, MMRDA, and MSRDC claim they are doing their best when it comes to road maintenance. MMRDA maintains the Western and the Eastern Express Highways. Its commissioner, SVR Srinivas, told this newspaper, “The Western Express Highway will be redone after monsoon and is being maintained nearly potholes-free, though some potholes do come up and are being attended to from time to time.
Similarly, an MSRDC official said: “In Mumbai we don't maintain roads, only flyovers. Every year before monsoon, the MSRDC undertakes mastic surfacing. During the rains, the Maintenance Department-appointed contractors put cold mix to prevent potholes from coming up.”
‘Potholes, potholes, potholes’
Been a wk of traffic gridlock in Mumbai. Early morning, late past midnight /afternoon, there's no non-peak hr any more or even going in the opp direction! Heard an ambulance took nearly 2 hrs to reach Jaslok from Borivali y'day. But is the media even reporting it? @TrafflineMUM
@tweetsvirat #Dahisar to #Malad : 1 hour 1 min on Western Express Highway on a Sunday. It's become a daily thing now with road work being undertaken near Times of India Press at Malad. We will need strength to deal with this ...... @RoadsOfMumbai @mumbaimatterz @MNCDFbombay
Kindly Resurface This #Pothole Patch, Vehicles Getting Damaged. #Location: Outside Bandra Worli Sea Link Project Office, Jagjit Singh Chowk, Bandra W #Mumbai
@mybmcWardHW @VVVispute @mybmcRoads
@mybmc @mayor_mumbai @KishoriPednekar @AUThackeray Potholes potholes and potholes in Aarey Road...leading to more fuel consumption and traffic and damage of car with tyre punctures..please help
A bad patch of potholes has been causing inconvenience to the moving traffic! As also turn out to be accident prone zone for two wheelers Location- Building Number - 34 police quarters D.N.Nagar Andheri West @mybmc @mybmcwardKW @hritikmanjrekar @shivsenait67
@mybmcWardHE Potholes on Road No-2,Sunder Nagar,Kalina. Kindly act
@mybmc @mybmcRoads @mybmcwardKW Location Ward 60. RTO signal / veera Desai entrance. Link road. Potholes filled road. Causing huge traffic . Road a major network road. Pls do the needful ASAP. #Mumbai
#Andheri @MNCDFbombay @LokhandwalaBuzz
Baudi Lane road in pathetic condition detoriating day by day.Orlem Malad (W). Pic when it flooded the potholes multiply.Please help urgently @mybmc @mybmcWardPN @CMOMaharashtra @mayor_mumbai @KishoriPednekar @IqbalSinghChah2 @MahaGovt @mybmcRoads
potholes on road causing inconvenience to moving vehicles! I request @mybmcwardKW to get it done as soon as possible! Thanking you in anticipation!
Location- opposite Goodluck store, near Wadia school (bhavans campus), DN Nagar, Andheri West Mumbai 53
@mybmcWardGN @mybmcWardGS Kindly fix all potholes at Kakasaheb Gadgil Marg, Prabhadevi.
Note - Please fix all potholes on entire road. @mybmcRoads @DighavkarKiran @UghadeSharad
@mayor_mumbai @AUThackeray #FillTheGap
Wrong way driving in full swing between Malad subway & Malad SV road main junction at SV road @MumbaiPolice @mybmc due to potholes at malad sv road junction signal huge traffic is caused. @mybmcRoads @AslamShaikh_MLA @ACI_Mumbai @PotholeWarriors @RoadsOfMumbai @AUThackeray
@mybmcWardGN Kindly fix the pothole at Baburao Parulekar Road. Near LIC Dadar Branch 88, Mumbai.
@mybmc @mybmcwardPN again same issue of potholes at the same spot. Do the needful seriously #Malad Zakaria Rd , Ryna Arcade. @KillerPotholes @ACI_Mumbai @CivicWarriorz @ataulkhan09
Hey #Mumbai There is a road between a sea of potholes. Spotted near #dharavi on Sion #bandragonball link road.
#watch #video BL Soni @fpjindia
@_iampratip @RoadsOfMumbai @mumbaimatterz @mumbaitraffic
A deep pothole has been causing inconvenience to the moving traffic it is also quit dangerous to two wheeler's ! I request @mybmcwardKW to take the action at earliest!
location: D.N.nagar ,Apna bazar opp HP petrol pump Andheri(W) Mumbai 53
Again and again this road is getting potholes bhatiya nagar dharavi #Mumbai near ayub bike washing center @mybmc @mybmcWardGN this is consequitive 4th complaint for same spot strict action should be taken
@PotholeWarriors @ACI_Mumbai @KishoriPednekar @skmass155 DighavkarKiran
Danger Pothole At 90 Feet Road Near Pole No AVN 3 Dharavi Mumbai 17. I Request @mybmcWardGN To Look Into This. @DighavkarKiran @PotholeWarriors @AlertCitizen5 @MumbadeviPraja @Dharavi12 @RedboysF @bandrabuzz #Dharavi #Mumbai #Potholes #AtaulSocialWorker
@mybmcWardRN @mybmc @AUThackeray Potholes at the entrance of Vaishali Nagar-Dahisar @mayor_mumbai Can this be fixed?
@mybmcWardRN @mybmc @AUThackeray Potholes at the entrance of Vaishali Nagar-Dahisar
@mayor_mumbai Can this be fixed?
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