Mumbai: Cementing work, pipeline upkeep deal Sion Circle a double whammy

It now takes more than an hour to travel between Sion Hospital and Chembur; more than 50,000 vehicles ply on this route on a daily basis

Traffic jams are a regular feature for Mumbaikars. But the arterial stretch on Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Road between Sion and Gandhi Market has been witnessing some particularly nasty traffic snarls for the past few days.

The slow pace of work by the BMC at Sion Circle is causing massive traffic snarls. Pic/Suresh KK
The slow pace of work by the BMC at Sion Circle is causing massive traffic snarls. Pic/Suresh KK

According to Mumbai Traffic Police officers, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has been carrying out cementing work from Sion railway station onwards, below the flyover, along with another project near Gandhi Market just near the Babasaheb Ambedkar Road flyover.

Nearly one-and-a-half lanes have been blocked by concrete slabs, and the stretch has been bifurcated by tall plastic dividers. At several places, roads are being dug and pipelines stand exposed, with several workers busy in activity on this congested route.

Initially roadwork was underway till King’s Circle, where paver blocks were being replaced. Below the King’s Circle rail line, there was also another project going on at the south end, which has been completed. Thousands of vehicles squeeze their way through the one-and-a-half lanes, with all the attendant noise and bedlam.

Nearly 50,000 vehicles ply everyday on this route. “We have issued a notice to the contractor and also asked the BMC to complete work soon,” said Quaiser Khalid, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic). Sources in the Traffic Police said that a water pipeline had ruptured near Gandhi market and the BMC managed to identify the fault only after 10 days or so.

This is the reason behind the delay in completing the road-cementing work as well. Meanwhile, BMC officials said that the work on the road was on, but at the same time, the civic body wanted to inspect the water pipeline below, but it couldn’t get separate permission from the Traffic Police.

“We had to inspect the pipeline on this stretch which was completed two-three days back,” said Ramesh Bamble, Chief Hydraulic Engineer, BMC. Currently motorists take more than an hour to reach Sion Hospital from Chembur, due to this repair work. Moreover, even the Sion flyover has become congested.

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