A cloud of uncertainty hangs over the fate of three major roads in the city, which were handed over by the BMC to the MMRDA for different projects. The two bodies now cannot decide which of them is responsible for repair work on these stretches.
The BMC has made it clear that the work is to be completed by the MMRDA at its own expense. The three roads – JP Road Andheri, Andheri-Ghatkopar Link Road and RC Marg, Chembur are major ones, and long stretches on them have been scarred by work for the metro rail and monorail projects.
While the MMRDA is eager to hand over the uneven and pockmarked roads to the civic body, the ruling party at the BMC, Shiv Sena, has taken a clear stand on the matter, asking the MMRDA to restore the roads to their earlier condition before returning them.
There is a chance that the MMRDA will put forward a proposal to share the expense equally with the BMC. A civic official said, requesting anonymity, “The MMRDA has agreed in principal to bear 50 per cent expenditure for road repair and pothole-filling work of J P Road, which has been damaged by construction work for the metro project.”
Yashodhar Phanse, the Sena leader in the house, said, “We need the roads back the way they were and none of the demands of the MMRDA will be taken into consideration. We had given them right of way after they promised to give back the roads as they were.”
The MMRDA clarified that the roads only have to be handed over towards the end of 2013. “It is too early to comment on handing over the roads to the BMC. We will only give them back when the work is completed,” said Dilip Kawathkar, joint project director, MMRDA.
An arterial road that connects Seven Bungalows with Andheri station, the 4-5 km stretch is used by many motorists and commuters approaching the station from areas like Versova, Lokhandwala, Adarsh Nagar and Millat Nagar. During the construction of the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar metro rail corridor, the road was closed off to vehicular traffic for some days.
There are several stretches on the road that experience traffic jams during peak hours due to undulations and potholes. Vehicles in the stretch near Indian Oil junction suffer delays owing to severe traffic congestion. The stretch extending from Navrang Cinema to SV Road junction also witnesses frequent traffic snarls. Ever since work started on this stretch, it takes motorists more than 45 minutes to reach Andheri station from Versova. Earlier, it would take a mere 20 minutes.
R C Marg, Chembur
The 3-4 km-long stretch is used by motorists moving towards Chembur station. It was dug up to erect monorail pillars during construction work on the stretch between Wadala and Chembur. The work has been completed, but has left the stretch in a mess, causing traffic snarls during peak hours.
Andheri-Ghatkopar Link Road
This road connects Andheri station with the eastern suburb of Ghatkopar. The 5-6 km stretch sees heavy traffic during peak hours. Vehicles approaching Ghatkopar from areas like Andheri station, Santacruz, Vile Parle, Jogeshwari and Oshiwara have to use this road. The road is uneven at various stretches.
@iKabirBedi Congratulations to @mid_day on its #ReturnOurRoads campaign in Mumbai. Expose the incredible levels of corruption in BMC!
@PoojaSolanki road adjacent to Willingdon Club going to Tardeo RTO — Dug up, left with silt, garbage and pavement ruined #ReturnOurRoads
@Paseband1 #returnourroads just that now it forces people to drive around the blocks and crash into each other. #gandhinagar
@ashishkibaat #ReturnOurRoads I think road building is a fund-raising mechanism for politicians. That's why they don't want quality
@ashishkibaat #ReturnOurRoads also investigate illegal hawkers and pavement dwellers who pay police & BMC to stop road improvement