Mumbai: How Malad's Mith Chowky Has Become Hell For Commuters

Mumbai: How Malad's Mith Chowky Has Become Hell For Commuters

With a new 800mt long flyover coming in place, that will pass below the elevated Metro 2A line, the construction work itself is being a new ‘obstruction’ for motorists and a ‘challenge’ for the local traffic police.

Aishwarya IyerUpdated: Monday, March 11, 2024, 07:43 AM IST
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People going to Malad’s Mith Chowky every day face a tough time dealing with constant traffic. Calling it a persistent hell, the commuters said they’ve complained a lot, but nothing seems to change. The traffic jam keeps happening, especially because of malls, offices, and illegal parking. Even on weekends, the struggle continues.

“Even on Saturday-Sundays, we do not have the luxury to step out to travel nearby, or simply take a stroll in the neighbourhood. If we make plans, like on weekdays, we will get stuck in traffic for hours, and if we stroll around, this noise and air pollution will create havoc on our bodies,” says 28-year-old Arnav Jain, a resident of Malad West. Arnav, who runs his own business, has stayed in the area for several years and says he has seen Malad go from extremely green and quiet to now being encompassed with pollution, traffic and noise.

With a new 800mt long flyover coming in place, that will pass below the elevated Metro 2A line, the construction work itself is being a new ‘obstruction’ for motorists and a ‘challenge’ for the local traffic police. This new ‘T ’-shaped flyover is an attempt of the BMC to ‘decongest’ the Mith Chowky junction but is meant for only two-wheelers and light motor vehicles (LMVs). According to traffic police officials, almost three major routes starting from Mith Chowky –towards the Link Road, Marve Road in Malwani, and Malad Subway – two-way roads – are now practically one-and-a-half-way routes.

“One side of the road is being barricaded for the flyover construction work. This does slow down traffic movement due to this disruption. The end of all three routes meets at Mith Chowky junction, which is where the real impact is seen,” said a traffic official.

When asked the official when Maladkars finally get regular traffic movement, he said, “Mostly before the rains began. The work is expected to be completed by then, and once that happens, a major chunk of traffic will be pushed to the flyover, decongesting the junction.”

However, before the inauguration of Metro lines 2A and 7 connecting Dahisar to Andheri through Link Road and Western Express Highway, this is exactly what the authorities, including the civic body and traffic officials, predicted. As per the plan, these two metro lines would take away pressure from the traffic, but nothing of that sort happened. “My office is nearby, fairly close to the 2A metro line, but after getting down, it’s difficult to get autos, and if I take a bus, I will have to spend another 30 minutes in traffic. Going by bike or car is better than all of the trouble,” said a Dahisar resident.

On an ordinary day, motorists travelling via Link Road, reaching or passing Mith Chowky, spend at least 45 minutes to 1 hour in traffic, when they can reach their destinations in 20 minutes or so. During the weekends, even though there is less vehicular traffic at Mith Chowky and adjoining routes, given the two malls and ‘hangout’ places, traffic police say the pedestrian traffic tends to go up, and subsequently the encroachers in market area places.

Officials believe that manual traffic timers help them control the flow of traffic, based on the backlog and time of the hour.

“In the morning hours, traffic forming from Malwani, Aksa, and Madh Island areas going towards South Mumbai and Western suburbs are higher, hence he needs to keep them moving with shorter signal timing, and in the evening, it’s the opposite direction. There are lakhs of vehicles going toward one direction during peak hours, if we go wrong, it can disrupt multiple traffic routes,” the official added.

Even the residents of Andheri, Oshiwara, Kandivali and even Dahisar are facing similar challenges due to the traffic situation at Mith Chowky and the Link Road.

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