The Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL), also known as Sewri-Nhava Sheva Trans Harbour Link – will probably be thrown open for public use starting December 25. The 21.8 km long bride will be connecting Mumbai and Navi-Mumbai. But is our city’s connectivity at par with the new incoming traffic – the answer is no, according to motorists and experts.
The main traffic, coming towards Mumbai, from Navi Mumbai, will land up in the hands of South Mumbai. This extremely heavy crowd will be left out in the open – on the narrow lanes of Dongri, Mohammad Ali Road, Sewri, Pydhonie, etc. The already congested P D’Mello Road, connected with the Eastern Freeway – will go through tough times. According to activist Kamalkar Shenoy, the entire project of MTHL is wonderful, but he says it’s deemed to be a destruction. “With this project in place, all I can see is bottlenecks everywhere. Our city’s will of safe and obstruction-free roads is in the hands of the IAS, and IPS officers – which they are about to destroy,” he says.
Shenoy further continues, “A daily influx of at least 70,000 vehicles is expected towards Mumbai. Forget 70,000, do we even have the bandwidth to deal with 700 vehicles at this point? Our extremely capable IAS officers are planning on making art galleries, and cafes on the road – which was originally meant for traffic and pedestrian movements! They are doing everything except for making the connectivity of Mumbai better.”
In Shenoy’s understanding, people travelling via MHTL would mainly stop at P D’Mello – to proceed towards CSMT, Churchgate, Girgaon Chowpatty, and other prevalent areas in SoBo – which would then exceed towards Dongri, Mohammad Ali Road – from Byculla to JJ Flyover – which has the most active encroachment on roads. “The roads and footpaths are all encroached. The existing “space” as it can’t be called roads anymore – is narrow. With such high traffic moving in this already narrow space – where will the vehicles move further, and till when,” he asks.
The other problem with Mumbai’s connectivity POV is the long list of closed or non-functional bridges – which otherwise could have helped ease the traffic. This includes Hancock Bridge: closed, Carnac Bridge: closed, Lower Parel (Delisle bridge): Half functional, Byculla Fruit Market Bridge: closed, DN Road: closed, and Mahapalika Road: partially closed. “To add to these existing woes, Sion ROB, Byculla Bridge, Parel TT and Belasis Road – all these are set for demolition. Where are the vehicles planned to be accommodated? I asked the ones in charge during a meeting today, but they do not care about anything. It’s a political game for them. The ones who would suffer will be us, Mumbaikars,” exclaimed Shenoy.
Shenoy and his team are now planning to criminally prosecute the IAS officers placed at the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, while also filing a petition against them in the court, he said.