Mumbai: The traffic on the Western Express Highway is severely impacted due to the construction work of two metros. Studying the 60ft (18.3mt) stretch between Borivali East to Andheri East that runs parallel to Western Express Highway (WEH) towards the west side, a citizens’ group Mumbai March has pointed out at least 11 missing links, that if developed will ease the traffic load.
Most of these 11 missing links on this stretch are encroached and blocked by the slums, some of them belong to government or defence.
Over the last two decades, Borivali and Kandivali have witnessed a population boom. However, its road infrastructure has failed to keep the pace. According to citizens, the capacity of roads and footpaths along with transportation options have hardly increased outside in many areas on this stretch, making it worst during monsoon. Thus, the residents are banking on two upcoming Metro projects on Link Road and WEH connecting Borivali with Andheri and further towards the south and eastern Mumbai.
Even the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has claimed that these corridors would decongest suburban road traffic.However, many feel that's not the only solution, and urge that there is an urgent need to open the blocked roads and develop them. “The traffic is caused by the mismanagement of the roads and not by the rains or any other reasons, the BMC and MMRDA should have kept in their mind that such problems increase during the monsoons. We have studied the DP and realised that it is possible to create a better road network, some hurdles need to be cleared," said Gopal Jhaveri, founder of Mumbai March.
The group has named this stretch Relief Road. Elaborating further, former BMC assistant commissioner Sahebrao Gaikwad said, "There are many bottlenecks, buses are parked on SV Road as well as WEH. I have suggested a few underpasses and small bridges to cut down on traffic load on the stretch between Borivali East and Andheri east as well as on SV Road. There is a lot of encroachment around the Poisar river and Joglekar nullah on Kandivali. I had suggested that small bridges be constructed on the nullah as well as on the Poisar river.”