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Relief unlikely for motorists even after Santacruz-Chembur Link Road becomes operational

Illegal garages, car parking on road along side SCLR stretch between Kalina campus and Kurla is likely to cause traffic jams. MMRDA passes the buck and says it's the job of traffic police and BMC to solve this issue

India’s first double-decker flyover, which is a part of the 3.5 km long Santacruz-Chembur Link Road, is expected to be commissioned shortly. The construction of this Rs.428 crore project is in progress on a war footing and in the final stages. However, these claims made by MMRDA will remain stuck on paper unless the planning authority along with Traffic Police Department solves the issue of illegal parking along side the SCLR stretch between Kalina campus and Kurla. Otherwise, vehicles using this stretch will get stuck in traffic.

Santacruz-Chembur Link Road
Aerial view of Santacruz-Chembur Link Road

MMRDA, in a press statement, claims that the Santacruz-Chembur Link Road (SCLR) is aimed to easing traffic snarls at Amar Mahal Junction, Vakola, Sion and Kula areas and also significantly de-congesting the Eastern and Western Express Highways. Once the SCLR Project becomes operational, it will also reduce traffic chaos at Sion and Kalanagar junctions enabling commuters to travel from Santacruz to Chembur in a mere 15-20 minutes. Currently, Mumbaikars require anywhere between 60 to 90 minutes to cross this stretch during peak hours.

The release states that commuters will be able to take the Vakola Junction road to reach the upper level of the flyover to reach Eastern Express Highway directly with the help of Amar Mahal Junction flyover. Commuters can also take the lower level of the flyover and turn right to reach Kurla railway station or turn left to reach Lokmanya Tilak Terminus. The SCLR – providing three lanes each for up and down traffic – is expected to carry more than 80,000 vehicles per day. The authorities have also provided footpaths on the lower level flyover for commuters who intend to cross over from Kurla station to LT terminus and vice versa.

However, the development authority has not made it clear how the issue of illegal parking that's taking place between Kalina and Kurla will be solved.

MMRDA has been claiming that it is the job of traffic police and BMC to solve the issue of encroachment and illegal parking.

What MMRDA has to say?

Metropolitan Commissioner UPS Madan said , “We are aware about the fact that the illegal garages and parking of vehicles on SCLR at some places will cause traffic problems once it is operational and so we have already written letters to Traffic Department and also local BMC ward offices to take action.”

Do you know?

The Santacruz-Chembur Link Road project faced innumerable court cases, various issues related to resettlement and rehabilitation, encroachment etc. However, the Authority successfully resettled and rehabilitated more than 3,500 project affected families from Gazi Nagar, Buddha Colony, Sable Nagar, Rahul Nagar and Indira Colony areas. This included residential, commercial as well as religious structures.

Besides this, the authorities also shifted 13 MHADA buildings from Tilak Nagar and 2 MHADA buildings from Netaji Nagar, Kurla. While the occupants of 13 MHADA buildings from Tilak Nagar were rehabilitated "in-situ", the occupants of 2 MHADA buildings from Netaji Nagar were rehabilitated at Bandra-Kurla Complex.

The demolition, shifting and relocation of 15 MHADA buildings have been acknowledged as "model-case-study" in the developing world.

What World Bank had said about this project?

On various occasions the World Bank which has funded the project had expressed dissatisfaction over the progress of the project. In 2010 Roberto Zagha , World Bank Country Director had even said that SCLR project has been the most delayed road project in the world.The project has missed 11 deadlines already and is expected to be operational by March end 2014.

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