The long-delayed Santa Cruz-Chembur Link Road (SCLR) promised to ease commuter woes between the eastern and western suburbs. But are motorists really happy with the new development?
After missing 12 deadlines, the expensive R428-crore Link Road, failed the acid test on the very first week day after its opening.
Motorists were greatly inconvenienced by the lack of signboards and bumper-to-bumper traffic jams on this stretch, which distrupted their journey.
Motorists coming from south Mumbai via the Eastern Express Highway (EEH) were struggling to locate the SCLR due to missing signage and had to rely on locals and traffic cops for directions.
To overcome the problem, the traffic police department deployed traffic constables at important junctions to guide motorists towards SCLR. But this is only a temporary solution. Instead of deploying cops, they should put up boards that are visible from at least 100 metre distances, to guide motorists at the right time.
The major hurdle motorists faced was that they had to halt to read the illegible signboards and then turn for Tilak Nagar and Nehru Nagar, or take the upper deck that directly opens at Kurla junction and connects to CST Road, which finally leads to the WEH at Santacruz. This could have led to accidents. Did the authorities think about the possibility of accidents, and prepare for them? There is no sign of ambulances or paramedical staff on the 6.5 km stretch.
With the project already delayed, the authorities should have made provisions to clear the bottleneck before the inauguration.
The encroachment by illegal timber marts, scrap dealers and garages near the Kurla-Kalina flyover resulted in traffic jams ahead.
The MMRDA is claiming that it is the civic authority’s responsibility, but as the planning and implementing authority, it was unequivocally their job to clear the bottlenecks, a task that they miserable failed to perform.