FPJ SPECIAL: On Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road, you need nerves of steel

Commuters narrate tales of trouble negotiating jams owing to Metro-6 work

Aishwarya IyerUpdated: Thursday, December 22, 2022, 03:16 AM IST
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Mumbai: The daily traffic menace on the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road (JVLR) is making several motorists travelling from or via Powai lose their mind.

A commuter and a resident of Powai, who is struggling to cope with road-stress, said, “The biggest contributor to this mess is the ongoing Metro-6 construction work. I’m no expert, but I have been travelling in this area for almost a decade. The situation has surely gone from bad to worse since the Metro work started.”

On Tuesday afternoon, considered non-peak hours, this reporter found a traffic jam on the Powai stretch. The jam started from Kanjurmarg, going up to L&T in Powai, informed on-duty traffic personnel. The road outside IIT Bombay was also jam-packed. “There is always traffic here and students from the institute have to cross the road amid this congestion – it seems dangerous. Moreover, this is also generating a lot of pollution,” said a street-food vendor at IIT-Bombay main gate.

IT professional Rajalakshmi Valduru, a regular commuter, said she is now experiencing back pain due to bad roads and prolonged waiting time in traffic. “Travelling by road is my only option, but my back is giving me trouble waiting in the traffic, stuck for hours – both during the day and when I return home from work. Something has to be done to save us from this misery,” said Ms Valduru. She added that most of the time there is no traffic cop in sight to manage the traffic.

Other commuters claim that JVLR is jammed even on Sundays and early mornings. “Many bikers hit the road on weekends, especially early in the morning for races. It’s a nuisance. We have reported the matter to the traffic police and Mumbai police, but there’s no respite,” said Ashok Karate, a commuter.

Mr Karate added, “Initially, it was assumed that the Metro will be a relief, but looking at the time it’s taking to finish work, it would have been better without it.”

A Twitter user said, “Commuting via JVLR is like being sentenced to Death by Traffic (sic).” Another motorist posted, “Sometimes the traffic extends to almost 3km. I start from the BPCL pump in Vikhroli and it takes more than two hours to reach Powai Plaza.” 

A traffic official responded, “If there is one hurdle in between, backlog traffic is created, thereby affecting the entire stretch of every connecting route. We try to clear these hurdles on a priority basis. However, if there is any work going on – like road or Metro-related work – it’s a bit difficult to manage as we have no authorisation at certain spots.”

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