Commuters travelling from Dahisar to Bandra, and from Sion to Mulund are in for some unpleasant travel sometime next year. As the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) prepares itself to maintain the two highways constructed by the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) by December 1, it also plans to give Mumbai its biggest Bus Routing Transit System (BRTS). The two highways in the city saw road-widening projects carried out in 2008, which will now be repeated with the BRTS coming up on these roads. The BMC is trying to chart plans for commuters since bumper-to-bumper traffic is reported on the two stretches even after it widened roads in 2008. The BRTS ensures that lanes are dedicated to buses on roads, thereby improving the way public transport plies.
The BRTS will come up from Dahisar to Bandra on the western line and from Sion to Mulund on the eastern line. The latter is likely to be the longest stretch the BMC will work on after launching the BRTS on the four kilometre-long Ghatkopar-Mankhurd link road. The project will be undertaken with road development funds worth Rs 1,400 crore. The project is currently in the planning stage and will commence after the roads are with the BMC.
A source at BMC, on condition of anonymity, said, “This is a very ambitious project and will cause serious commuting woes. Widening of the roads will mean fewer lanes available for cars and bikes to travel on the highways. Since we will use road funds, it will become all the more necessary to have the dedicated lanes — like the BRTS — in place.”
Rahul Shewale, chairman, Standing Committee, confirmed that the project is in the planning stage. “The BMC will undertake the BRTS project, but we can give a clearer picture only after December 1, because that’s when the Western and Eastern Express highways will be under our jurisdiction. There will be traffic problems once construction starts, but it will be helpful in the long run.”