South-bound Hughes Rd stretch to open for traffic within a week

Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is planning to open the south-bound side of N S Patkar Road, popularly called Hughes Road, for traffic movement within a week. The road, connecting the Kemps Corner flyover, has remained closed since August 6, after a retaining wall on Ridge Road (near Hanging Gardens) collapsed, causing a landslide. The landslide damaged water pipelines of the area and caused serious disruption of traffic movement in the area.

On Monday, a delegation of experts from IIT Bombay and civic officials visited the site, following which a joint meeting was held. It was decided that one lane would be opened for traffic movement by maintaining precautions. Meanwhile, the committee will prepare a report on the methodology of strengthening the hill slope and reconstructing the retaining wall. Till then, the north-bound road would remain closed for traffic.

Civic officials said that as a precautionary measure against landslide, a barrier using tyres and sandbags would be set up beside the north-bound lane of the road.

"A barricade will be created for safety purposes, following which only the south-bound stretch of the road would be opened" said Deputy Municipal Commissioner (Zone 1) Harshad Kale.

"Traffic Police will be laying out advisories and vehicular movement would be permitted through a single lane only. In the morning, traffic will move from Haji Ali towards Nana Chowk, while it will move in the opposite direction during evening," Kale added.

He said once the committee’s report is completed, reconstruction work on pipeline and drainage systems would be initiated. A senior traffic police officer, however, said on Tuesday that the police had not yet received any correspondence from the BMC office in connection with the opening of a lane on N S Patkar Road. The official added that the decision to open the road for vehicular movement is dependent on the report submitted by the BMC, which will ascertain the next step and they would only be able to provide traffic diversions, if any.

"Whenever the road would be open for vehicular movement, it is only advisable to open a single bound way, which can be alternated for north and south bound traffic during the day and night respectively or vice versa. After the report is submitted, traffic police will need at least a day to plan the diversions," said the senior officer.

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