South Mumbai's NS Patkar Road, popularly known as Hughes Road, has been shut for the last one month. The arterial road passes through some of the affluent localities of South Mumbai, connecting Kemps Corner with Raj Bhavan, Malabar Hills, Hanging Gardens and Girgaum. And daily office goers have been bearing the brunt of the closure.
They have complained of facing inconvenience due to the suspension of vehicular movement on the arterial road. "The travel time has increased by a minimum of forty minutes. One needs to keep a buffer of at least an hour as traffic is diverted through Nana Chowk," said Amit Desai, a business owner, who travels to Bandra twice every week from his Girgaum residence.
BrihanMumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) has suspended as many as 10 bus routes passing through it, Marine Drive resident Payel Singhal said. Due to this, she needs to bank on a private vehicle now. "It used to take me half an hour to reach my office at Princess Street in a BEST bus. Now, it takes me an hour to reach the office, costing me more time and fuel," Singhal stated.
With state unlocking itself, more cars have started to hit the road. It has led to severe traffic congestion at the Nana Chowk and Kemps Corner. The civic body has stated that it will open the south bound extension of the road for traffic movement by Monday, while the north bound section will remain closed till further notice. "With more and more cars on the streets, opening one side of the road will not solve the problem much. They should have done it earlier," said advocate Jayesh Rawal, who often travels between Napean Sea Road and Bombay High Court.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) of Malabar Hill, Mangal Prabhat Lodha slammed the civic body for delaying work. The MLA had held two meetings with civic officials, urging them to speed up the repair. "BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) could have allowed traffic movement on one side within a week. It has all the man power, but it chose to delay the work," Lodha told the Free Press Journal.