Mumbai: Traffic police chowky demolished to ease highway traffic in Andheri

The traffic police chowky near Jog flyover on Western Express Highway was broken down as it was an obstruction to traffic

After Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta and Commissioner of Police Ahmad Javed’s inspection, a traffic police chowky near the Jog flyover in Andheri was demolished on Friday.

The traffic chowky being demolished. Traffic can be seen moving towards the road going to Andheri station. Pic courtesy/BMC
The traffic chowky being demolished. Traffic can be seen moving towards the road going to Andheri station. Pic courtesy/BMC

The BMC claims that the demolition will allow smooth flow of traffic going from the highway towards Andheri since it had been a bottleneck for many years. However, some locals were of the opinion that the chowky did not obstruct traffic.

The airport division traffic police chowky was situated on the Western Express Highway, next to the Jog flyover, for many years. The 50 feet X 100 feet chowky was located to the left of the North-South Highway on the road going towards Andheri (east) station.

Mehta and Javed had visited the area the previous week and a decision had been taken to remove it. The BMC says that the chowky was an obstruction to traffic and created bottlenecks in the area since during peak hours, traffic would flow from WEH towards Andheri.

Therefore, a decision was taken to demolish it immediately. Demolition started on Friday morning, and continued till Sunday. Two JCBs, a hydra machine, masons, electricians, seven officials and other civic staff were pressed into work for it and 8-10 trucks full of debris were removed from it.

The work of levelling the road and asphalting it is under way so that all 120 feet of it can be used for traffic. Besides, BMC is going to remodel the junction and beautify it. But when asked if the BMC had got any complaints from locals about it, Devendra Jain, assistant commissioner of K/East ward replied in the negative.

He said it was suo motu cognisance taken by the administration. “The municipal commissioner wanted all 120 feet to be used for traffic,” he said. He also informed that a traffic island will be made in the area to regulate traffic and the cleared area will be beautified.

“I doubt if there was any need to demolish the chowky. There was no obstruction to traffic. The situation has been so for very long. In fact the chowky was a check to errant motorists,” said Mohammed Afzal, a local transport expert and founder of WORSPA (Welfare Organisation for Road Safety and Prevention of Accidents), an NGO.

BMC chief says
Every person travelling on this junction has suffered from the impediment of this traffic police chowky, even I have. Motorists who want to go towards Versova, Lokhandwala side would be stuck at this signal for long just to take a left turn. Now it will be a free left turn for them and only those going towards Goregaon will have to wait at the signal. — Ajoy Mehta, municipal commissioner

Cop speak

Although there were no traffic jams because of the chowky, there would be jams because of a large number of people who wanted to turn left. That’s why the decision to keep the left turn free. The current signal will be removed and relocated appropriately so that the move can be facilitated.
— Milind Bharambe, Joint CP (traffic)

The move was taken to make the left turn free. That road towards Andheri is an important road leading to several important junctions. Now the traffic will be able to move freely towards Andheri without waiting at the signal. Although we hadn’t received any complaints from citizens, it was our duty to clear the path.
— Namdeo Chavhan, DCP of western region

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