No bus to Ram Mandir? Oshiwara, Lokhandwala residents claim low frequency

Residents of Oshiwara and Lokhandwala claim that the frequency of buses to and from the upcoming Ram Mandir station is very poor, and those that ply don’t offer a direct drop

The Oshiwara station is a week from opening following debate over its name
The Oshiwara station is a week from opening following debate over its name

In the last week, even as the upcoming Oshiwara station has been in the news over the brouhaha over its non-traditional name, another bit of relevant information has gotten relatively lost: That there is little bus connectivity for the area’s residents who need to ply there regularly.

Does proximity help?
Now, residents of Oshiwara and Lokhandwala — one of the areas closest to the station — are unhappy with the number of buses plying to and from the station. According to them, the number of buses offering commuters a drop to the station is drastically limited, with none of them offering a direct drop to Oshiwara station. For these residents, the construction of a new railway station closer home meant they would not have to schlep all the way to Andheri or Jogeshwari to board a train, but with just two buses going towards the newly-built station, will the new station really aid commute?

Also read: Mumbai's new railway station in Oshiwara to be named 'Ram Mandir'

“There is a bus 234 that goes from 7 Bungalows till Jogeshwari, via Lokhandwala Circle,” said Dhaval Shah, a resident of Lokhandwala, and founder of Lokhandwala-Oshiwara Citizens Association. “From Jogeshwari, we will have to switch buses and take either a 201 or 203 that drops at the mouth of Ram Mandir Road junction on SV Road, from where, the station is still nearly a kilometre away. The other option is to take a direct rickshaw, which will cost nothing less than Rs 60 one way.”

MNS writes to BEST
“Ram Mandir station has zero connectivity for the people whom it was primarily built for,” pointed out Prashant Rane, MNS Shakha Adhyaksh, adding, “No bus even reaches near the station from Lokhandwala or Oshiwara. I have sent a letter to BEST to start a proper bus service, along with the station opening.”

BEST explains
“The bus schedule will be changing from December 1,” said Hanumant Gophane, BEST’s public relations officer. “There will be minor changes that will be implemented hereafter; I will need to find out what exactly are the changes suggested in the proposed plan. We do have a provision for buses that will provide a direct drop to Oshiwara station from that side (Oshiwara, Lokhandwala, Jogeshwari) in the proposed plan.”

Citizen speak

Amarjeet Gumber, an Oshiwara resident
‘The bus connectivity to Ram Mandir station needs to be addressed parallel to the station opening, otherwise it makes no sense’

Dhaval Shah, a resident of Lokhandwala
‘We have to switch buses that drop at the mouth of Ram Mandir Road junction on SV Road, from where, the station is still nearly a kilometre away’

Prashant Rane, MNS shakha adhyaksh
‘Ram Mandir railway station has zero connectivity for the people for whom it was primarily built. No bus even reaches near the station, neither from Lokhandwala nor from Oshiwara. I have sent a letter to the BEST Undertaking to start a proper bus service simultaneously with the opening of the station’

Rs 60
One-way autorickshaw fare to the station from Lokhandwala

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