When Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) threw open the second arm of the Barfiwala flyover, it came as a relief to motorists and residents who were accustomed to heavy traffic jams at this crucial S V Road junction in Andheri (West).
But, seven months later, the northern arm that connects Juhu Galli in Andheri (W) and the Western Express Highway (WEH) in the east via Gokhale Road, has become a bother for motorists, as commuters descending the bridge, at the Juhu Galli end, have to stop due to a traffic signal, which leads to traffic congestion during peak hours.
Moreover, waterlogging in the Juhu Galli area has further compounded their problems. Motorists feel that the traffic problem could have been avoided if MMRDA had planned the flyover properly and feel that the flyover should have been lengthened by at least 400 metres, in order to bypass the traffic jams and waterlogging that is persistent in the Juhu Galli area.
Ramesh Shetty (30), who drives on this route frequently, said, “I use the flyover to reach my house in Lokhandwala everyday, but the most irritating part of my journey is that I have to immediately apply brakes after getting off the bridge, as there is a signal at the Juhu Galli junction, which not only takes a lot of time but also leads to a lot of fuel wastage. If the authorities had planned this flyover a little better, they would have extended the flyover by 300-400 metres and end it at the Juhu Galli-Link road intersection. Then, it would have bypassed the traffic signal and the waterlogging.”
The 354-m southern arm of the Y-shaped flyover has been functional since June last year, while the 384-m southern arm built at cost of Rs 42 crore was thrown open for vehicular traffic in January, this year.
Missing link road
In 2009, MMRDA opened up the missing link road in Juhu Galli. It was actually the BMC, which had planned to construct this missing link 40 years ago.
But looking at the traffic congestion in Andheri, MMRDA constructed a 670-metre road that connected Tipu Sultan Chowk and Lokhandwala Chowk.
Earlier, this stretch was encroached by slums, leaving almost no space for vehicular traffic. Motorist Vipul Mane said, “Even though MMRDA constructed the missing link road that has cut down travel time, with the onset of monsoons the Juhu Galli area is notorious for waterlogging, as the road slopes. The only solution to solve the traffic problem is by increasing the height of the road. The other solution to the problem would be to extend the flyover till Sujoy Hospital.”
Residents also blame MMRDA for the same, as they feel that this problem continues to haunt commuters due to the bad planning by the authority.
“The problem of waterlogging in the monsoons in this particular area is an age old issue. If MMRDA while constructing the missing link road, which connects SV Road to Tipu Sultan Chowk, had constructed the road at least two to three feet above the present height then this waterlogging problem would have not occurred, ”said Seven Bungalow’s resident Avinash Sharma.
Joint Project Director Dilip Kawathkar said, “The construction of the missing link road and the Barfiwala flyover was done only after conducting a proper feasibility study and survey. So, it will be wrong to say that the flyover was not planned properly. Prior to the opening of the flyover, vehicular traffic used to move at a snail’s pace at this junction. But now with the construction of the flyover and missing road link, which was constructed by MMRDA, it has only helped motorists in cutting travel time and fuel, which was earlier wasted at the SV Road junction.”