If your office is at Lower Parel, Currey Road, Chinchpokli, Worli or any other area in central Mumbai, prepare to face long commutes to work this new year. The MMRDA is planning to shut down the arterial Currey Road bridge by the end of December to allow the construction of the Jacob Circle-Wadala monorail phase.
For an estimated period of two months, motorists will have to use alternative routes, as the bridge will remain closed to all vehicles. Even more concerning is the fact that ambulances going towards KEM and TATA hospitals will also have to use alternate routes via Chinchpokli bridge and Elphistone road over bridge (ROB).
Confirming the same Additional Metropolitan Commissioner Ashwini Bhide said, “We have already discussed the issue with Traffic department officials and they have, in-principal, approved the closure of the important Mahdev Palav Marg from Bharatmata junction up to N M Joshi Marg junction. We have not yet decided the exact date when the road will be closed, but it will mostly happen by the end of the year.”
At present, Mahadev Palav Marg is an important road that connects the Lalbaug and Parel areas with N M Joshi Marg. With its closure, the present bad scenario of traffic will only worsen, as motorists will have to take diversionary routes via Chinchpokli Bridge and Elphinstone ROB.
Speaking to MiD DAY, Senior Police Inspector (traffic), R Gidde said, “Mahadev Palav Marg is an arterial road that connects Dr Ambedkar road with NM Joshi Marg. Closure of this road for the construction of the Jacob Circle - Wadala monorail phase will affect traffic adversely, as around 2,500-3,000 vehicles (per hour) pass through this road during peak hours. Once the road is closed, we will have to divert around 9,000 vehicles between 8 –11 am and the same number of vehicles during 6- 9 pm via alternate routes which include Chinchpokli bridge and Elphistone ROB.”
The traffic scenarios on the Chinchpokli bridge and Elphistone ROB are always bad during peak hours due to the narrow roads. In the evening, it can take more than 20 minutes to cover a distance of 300 metres between Bhartmata junction and N M junction Marg via Mahadev Palav Marg. However, after the closure of this road motorists going towards Lower Parel station from Bharatmata junction will take more than 45 minutes as they will have to take the busy Elphistone ROB or the Chinchpokli bridge.Vidyadhar Misal, who often takes the Mahadev Palav Marg to reach Bhartmata junction said , “Even when the ROB is open for vehicles, the traffic scenario is very bad. Just imagine how the traffic on the entire N M Joshi Marg will be when vehicles will be diverted via this road. It will only add to the traffic woes, and those affected the most will be people staying on Delilse road and Arthur road who will have to take a much longer route to go to KEM, TATA and Wadia hospitals.”
The closure of this road will not only impact on motorists but rail commuters as well, who will have to walk from Bharatmata junction to Currey Road station as public modes of transport like BEST buses and taxis will also have to take the alternate route. The MMRDA had already constructed pillars along most of the monorail stretch but it is yet to start erecting pillars on the Mahadev Palav Marg as construction cannot be started until the entire road is closed.
When asked if the road closure would affect patient’s accessibility to hospitals, Sandhya Kamat, dean of KEM hospital said, “I am unaware about this development and won't be able to say anything. The MMRDA might have consulted the higher ups in the BMC, and only when I get all the details will I be able to comment.”