It's subway to hell for Milan motorists

Delayed construction of road-overbridge near Milan subway means all vehicles are diverted to a narrow lane, leading to constant traffic jams

For motorists using the service road near Milan subway and residents of the area, navigating through the traffic congestion there has become a nightmare.

Owing to the ongoing construction work of a road-overbridge (ROB), a section of the north-bound service road going from Milan subway towards the domestic airport has been closed.

The service road next to the Western Express Highway near Milan subway in Santacruz has been closed, as constuction work of the road-overbridge is in progress. All heavy vehicles pass through the narrow lane, congesting it

Since the past three months, traffic going and coming towards Milan subway has been diverted through the narrow Shraddha Anand road, near Sai Baba temple.
Despite residents making repeated complaints to the Vakola traffic police, no traffic police constable has been deployed on Shraddha Anand road.

Residents of the area have been complaining that due to the traffic jams, some days, their children have even missed school.

And in case of medical emergencies, matters only gets worse. Moreover, heavy vehicles dumpers, trucks and school buses that also ply on this narrow road, are only adding to the inconvenience.

A shopkeeper, who wished not to be named, alleged that illegal garages on the narrow stretch of road also add to the traffic woes.

"Traffic constables visit the area only to collect 'haftas' (bribes) from the rickshaw garage owners.

On numerous occasions, fights have broken out between the motorists because of the traffic jams," said the shopkeeper.

"The contractor constructing the Milan ROB should at least post some private guards to help in controlling the traffic," he added.

Rohit Nandu (35), resident of the area from last 30 years said that traffic was never an issue on the road, however, it's worsened since last six months due to the construction activity.

"On September 17, a letter was submitted to the Vakola traffic police department, requesting them to immediately look into the matter and post traffic constables on the road. Till date nothing has happened," said Nandu.

"I will check the letter and appropriate measures will be taken so that inconvenience is not caused to the residents staying in the area," said P.P Temkar, senior police inspector (traffic) from Vakola police station.

Construction of the 700 metres, Rs 40 crore ROB started in 2008 and was expected to be complete by May 2011.

The project, however, has been delayed owing to the Resettlement and Rehabilitation issue of the residents from Golibar area.

However, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) claims that the issue has been sorted out and the work is nearing completion.

"We regret the inconvenience to the motorists, I will speak to the contractor and traffic police department, so that solution can be quickly sought for this issue," said MMRDA Joint Project Director, Dilip Kawatkar.

The local residents in the area even allege that four months ago, when the north-bound service road was closed, the contractor said that it would be open in two months, but even after four months the road has not been opened. The road was only opened for few days during Ganpati festival.

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