A 25 km stretch on the Western Express Highway (WEH) from Bandra to Borivali West is the main north-south connector of the city is bogged down by multiple bottlenecks leading to deadly traffic jams.
The 120 ft (36.6 mt) wide road that runs parallel to mangroves forest between Bandra Band Stand Road and Gorai in Borivali West has at least 6 underdeveloped or blocked road links, that if developed can ease the traffic congestion, suggests Mumbai March, a people's movement.
Uneven surfaces, signal fewer junctions, unsynchronized signals, as well as poor signage and poor visibility of lane demarcations have been major factors of traffic jam on this stretch. So much so that it sometimes takes over three hours to commute from Mantralaya to Borivali a distance of 40-kilometre The 25-kilometre stretch bears the brunt of the vehicle load, and its quality and design of junctions, entry-exit landings, signage and lane separators need to be streamlined experts state.
On average around 5000 to 5500 cars use this stretch every hour. In 2019 the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA), which maintains the WEH appointed a global consultancy firm, which studied the shortcomings on various stretches on the WEH and recommended measures to decongest the highway. However, there is no respite as no rectification has been done on the grounds towards easing the traffic congestion.
There are many inner roads between Bandra Band Stand and Borivali West that can ease the traffic on WEH and SV road to a large extent.
Of the six underdeveloped/blocked links some have slum encroachments, one is on airport land, and others are simply not developed.
"The major missing link is in Khar Danda where there are major slum encroachments, however, there seems to be a huge delay in removal. Besides this, there are two tunnels / underpass below the Juhu airport marked in the Development plan. One of the Tunnel leads to and ends near Amitabh Bacchan's Bungalow Jalsa, the second tunnel ends near Mithibai college. The tunnels can be seen on paper in the DP, however, does not exist in reality, these tunnels will ease traffic on the stretch. The missing links on Adarsh Nagar to Inorbit mall and the major stretch missing between Inorbit mall to Evershine Nagar Malad west too will be a huge breather if developed. at the earliest," said Gopal Jhaveri, founder of Mumbai March.