Government planning possible BEST bus depot under Vakola flyover
Considering every inch of space in Mumbai is precious, the government now plans to utilise the vacant space below flyovers to construct a BEST bus terminus.
The Vakola flyover on the Western Express Highway. Pic/Nimesh Dave
At a recent meeting between Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST), Mumbai Environmental Social Network (MESN) and other government agencies, it was decided that a pilot project will be carried out at Vakola flyover in Santacruz (E) and Kalanagar flyover in Bandra (E). The authorities want a dedicated space below the flyover for a bus terminus where a mini terminus can be set up.
This will be similar to the space that Shivneri buses, operating between Mumbai-Pune, at Dadar (E), have. Sources said that BEST buses can be parked there and might become a starting point for these buses running on the Western Express Highway (WEH).
Currently, the space on both the north and south ends of these flyovers is being encroached upon by illegal dwellers. The state government has already banned parking and dumping of vehicles below flyovers. “As a pilot project we would be starting from Vakola flyover,” said Ashok Datar, transport expert and chairman of MESN.
BEST officials have also floated another idea where the lane could be opened up for other vehicles instead of creating a terminus. “We can open up this space where around two lanes are available. Vehicles going on the right or left can be asked to take these lanes so that it doesn’t affect the traffic movement going south or north,” said a BEST official. Such a system is currently functional near Byculla railway station where vehicles going towards north of Dr BA Ambedkar Road take this path below the flyover before proceeding on the right from the signal. As per the plan, this arrangement will allow more vehicles to ply on the road.