Maharashtra CM calls meeting today to address Mumbai's transport issues

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has called a meeting with top transport officials, planning agencies and the Traffic police to discuss improving public transport in the city

In order to address the crumbling public transport system in the city, the chief minister has called a high-level meeting with top officials of transport authorities today.

(Right to left) CM Devendra Fadnavis, Member of Parliament Arvind Sawant and state Transport minister Diwakar Raote at the Road Safety Fortnight event yesterday
(Right to left) CM Devendra Fadnavis, Member of Parliament Arvind Sawant and state Transport minister Diwakar Raote at the Road Safety Fortnight event yesterday

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis highlighted the issue of public transport on the sidelines of the Road Safety Fortnight, which began on January 11. “Public transport system needs to be strengthened, for which a mobility plan is being created,” he said at the event on road safety yesterday.

Cops took out a rally from the police gymkhana at Marine Lines, to raise awareness about road safety. Pics/Bipin Kokate

Sources claimed this meeting shall include the new Additional Chief Secretary (Transport) Gautam Chatterjee, Transport Commissioner Mahesh Zagade, Traffic Comm-issioner Dr B K Upadhyay, RTO officials and officials from other infrastructure agencies.

They said the meeting would most likely be on the overall improvement of the transportation system in Mumbai and Thane, apart from the traffic woes faced by people.

The issues
There are around 38,000 black-and-yellow taxis on the road, around 1.04 lakh auto rickshaws and 4,200 BEST buses, apart from the 215 local trains plying on Western and Central Railways. The RTO officials said that there is a plan to increase the number of autos and taxis so people leave their private cars behind.

Senior Transport officials said that there is a need for integrated public transport across Mumbai. Presently, Metro rail and Monorail are connected at selected stations; while bus depots are there, the number of BEST buses is dwindling.

Moreover the meeting might also look at the aspects of creating a coastal road worth Rs 10,000 crore that is proposed to start from Nariman Point and go up to Madh in Malad on this 36-km route.

“There is a scope for operating ferries on eastern and western coasts. We should look into this positively, wherein it can be operated at least eight months and can be integrated with other transport systems,” said another senior Transport official. The proposal for the ferry has always been in choppy waters for many years.

The CM also spoke of curtailing accident rates by at least 20 per cent. “I am confident that we shall improve the transportation system in Mumbai. Most importantly, the traffic sense of Mumbaikars too should improve further,” he added.

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