The closure of an arterial road for a year is bound to cause inconvenience to residents, but what has got inhabitants living in the vicinity of Jay Prakash road, (Andheri West) livid is that the road was supposed to be closed for only two months. Despite the promise made by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) and Mumbai Metropolitan One Private Limited (MMOPL) stating that the road between Seven Bungalows and the Indian Oil junction will be closed for two months, a year later the road has still not been opened.
“When the road was closed last year, MMRDA-MMOPL had said that they will open the road in two months, but even after a year the situation remains the same. This only proves the lethargy and casual attitude of the authorities in expediting projects,” said Sunil Navle, resident of Four Bungalows.
Not only are residents dismayed over the time that it now takes them to reach Andheri railway station, they are also complaining about the shoddy measures adopted on the alternative route that increases the chances of accidents in the night due to poor visibility. “The street lights on the diversionary route are not working and as a temporary measure MMRDA- MMOPL has installed tube lights, which do not serve the purpose,” said Navle.
Passing the buck
When contacted MMRDA officials explained that the main reason behind the delay in throwing open the road was because the civic body had excavated the road to carry out some essential work. “We were about to open the road between Seven Bungalows and Kamdhenu shopping centre, but the BMC has dug open the road to carry out some works on the sewer line. We feel that the entire JP road stretch between Seven Bungalow and Indian Oil junction will be open within a month’s time,” said an MMRDA official, on condition of anonymity.
MMRDA apologised for any delays and inconvenience, but said the work was essential and disruption would be kept to a minimum. Speaking to MiD DAY MMRDA Joint Project Director Dilip Kawatkar said, “The work on the stretch is going on in full swing and we would see to it that it is completed at the earliest so that motorists and commuters staying in the area don’t have to face inconvenience. We would also see to it that proper lights are fitted on the stretch so that motorists don’t have to face problems while driving.”
The road was closed to facilitate the work on the 11.07-km Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro rail project. Due to the blockages, commuters plying on JP road have to use a roundabout route via Juhu Galli Road or take a left from Kamdhenu shopping centre and then towards Laxmi Industries to reach Andheri station — a drive that takes almost an hour. The disruption has caused problems for public transport users too. Despite repeated attempts, Assistant commissioner of K-west ward, Ramesh Pawar was unavailable for comment.