Mumbai Coastal Road: Traffic Snarl At Worli Entry On Day 1; Peddar Road Empty

Mumbai Coastal Road: Traffic Snarl At Worli Entry On Day 1; Peddar Road Empty

Motorists were in awe of the engineering marvel that stretches 10.5-kilometer-long, which will bring travel time from Worli to Marine Drive from 40 minutes to just 9 minutes.

Aishwarya IyerUpdated: Wednesday, March 13, 2024, 09:14 AM IST
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Mumbai Coastal Road: Traffic Snarl At Worli Entry On Day 1; Peddar Road Empty |

Mumbai: The first phase of the Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj Marg aka the Mumbai Coastal Road was thrown open for traffic on Tuesday much to the delight of hundreds of motorists. Said an early bird motorist Bhupen Tharu: ``Its a dream come true. Its all very historic. Full marks to the BMC." Worli seaface witnessed a huge traffic snarl with several motorists vying with each other to get into the road.

Motorists were in awe of the engineering marvel that stretches 10.5-kilometer-long, which will bring travel time from Worli to Marine Drive from 40 minutes to just 9 minutes. The road will be open from 8.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m. Monday to Friday. It will be closed on weekends.

The first phase consists of the south-bound carriageway, which was inaugurated by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Monday. The second phase, which is expected to be complete by May 2024, will connect Bandra-Worli Sea Link (Bandra end) to Kandivali.

Motorists Share First Drive Experience

On day 1, motorists maintained complete discipline when it came to adhering to traffic laws. At South Mumbai's Princess Street flyover, at Marine Drive, traffic personnel were predicting a bottleneck as the flyover receives traffic from the coastal road. "To our surprise, it was managed easily. We did expect bumper to bumper traffic, but it was manageable. Now the challenge is that motorists going towards Kalbadevi on Netaji Subhash Road (Marine Drive) , can take a left after crossing the Police Gymkhana, but there is no signage to help the motorists. For now, we have personnel standing to guide citizens, and have asked the BMC to install sign boards which will help motorists avoid a detour, and it will also prevent congestion," said an official at the Marine Drive traffic division.

Meanwhile, at other choke points of SoBo, the situation seemed good from a traffic point of view as the infamous choke points like Peddar Road, Haji Ali junction, remained smooth and calm throughout the day. A traffic official, looking at traffic movement at Peddar Road (south bound), said, while sighing relief, "In my many years in traffic, today (Tuesday) was the first time I saw an empty Peddar Road. This view cannot be witnessed even on weekends or holidays. Last seen was during Covid-19 lockdown. Coastal road, if not for anyone, is a blessing for Peddar Road motorists and residents."

Traffic Pile Up At Worli Entry

While it was a smooth day in the Marine Drive and SoBo areas, but the same was not true for Worli. Starting Tuesday morning, the vehicles started to pile up at the the Worli entry point at Bindu Madhav Thackeray Chowk. This affected the movement at Worli Sea Face on the south bound side. According to traffic police officials at Worli, "the congestion was cleared quickly", but motorists showed a different picture. "The seaface was jammed, and the traffic was at a standstill," said a motorist, while another said, "The queue (or the traffic jam) extended up to 3 kilometers. It was not moving as the signal was on red for a long time." Atul Khatre, a motorist said, "The cops (traffic) were busy clearing the entry point, letting vehicles to smoothly enter coastal road, and this led the cops to stop the signal at seaface south- bound for a longer time. And as seconds and minutes passed by, vehicles slowly piled up."

A V Shenoy, senior transport export with Mumbai Mobility Forum, feels the coastal road will largely benefit car owners as they will be avoiding congestion at Haji Ali, Peddar Road, Bhulabhai Desai Road and Hughes Road. "However all others travelling by BEST< two wheelers, or those designation is along Peddar Road, Hughes Road, Opera House, Queens Road and Marine Drive up to Marine Line may get only part relief due to cars going off these roads. BMC also has to keep in mind the recovery of Rs. 14,000 crores spent on this project as there is no toll. It should not try to burden other citizens of Mumbai to recover the huge capital cost and interest on this project."

Activist Raises Concerns Of Traffic Choke Up

Activist Kamalkar Shenoy, feels the infrastructure is magnificent on the coastal road, but worries that the outlet points will choke up like what happened after MTHL was thrown open for traffic. "The amazing MTHL was inaugurated but it lacked the vision, and planning needed by the authorities. Look at P D'Mello Road which is now burdened with MTHL and Eastern Freeway's load, similar situations can happen at Worli and SoBo areas if the planning is not done properly. For a month, the road project will be a honeymoon period, with motorists being excited, later it can turn into a nightmare for adjoining roads and routes like Marine Drive, Lotus Junction (Worli), Sea Face, Haji Ali, etc, if things are not kept checked, like illegal parking, encroachment, etc."

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