The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has conducted a citywide survey to discover something most citizens already knew -- that building flyovers is one of the better ways to reduce traffic congestion on city roads.
Enthused by this new discovery however, the BMC has just announced an ambitious plan to spend crores of rupees to build new bridges in the western suburbs.
The first one in the pipeline is an extension of Gokhale Bridge in Andheri west that connects this western suburb to the Western Express Highway (WEH). Next up is a flyover connecting Versova area to Link Road. It is a different matter that not too far away from where they plan so much activity in the coming days, the Jogeshwari north and southbound flyovers are lying half constructed for the past three years, with the same civic body showing no urgency to complete it.
According to BMC officials the traffic situation on the WEH near the Andheri flyover is a serious problem since there is always a huge traffic jam here during peak hours. The BMC Bridges department is in the process of seeking permission from the state government to extend the flyover as the road over bridge will be connecting Versova, Seven Bungalows to Link Road, where there are many mangrove trees.
BMC officials are of the opinion that the Phase II of the unfinished Jogeshwari north and south flyover, which connects Oshiwara to Jogeshwari Vikhroli Link Road and the road near WEH is a development planning road and can only be used only after 2014, hence the construction which is to begin on the WEH will be done only after 2014. BMC architects feel the project would need more funds since it will have to be constructed above the WEH. A bridge department official on request of anonymity, said, “ We will soon be extending the Gokhale bridge as there is lot of traffic congestion there and commuters take more than 20 minutes to cross the 500 metre stretch because of the traffic.
We also have plans of coming up with a flyover that will make commuting easier from Link Road to Versova. The proposal is currently with the state government.” Additional Municipal Commissioner SVR Srinivas said, “ The work on the Jogeshwari bridge has run into some problems due to encroachment issues. There are some more traffic surveys that the BMC is planning and we will be taking necessary steps to solve the matter.”