The newly inaugurated Santacruz-Chembur Link Road (SCLR) failed the test miserably in its first encounter with week day traffic yesterday.

SCLR: Commuters complained that the signboards were too small to read from a distance, leading to confusion and traffic snarls. Pic/Sayed Sameer Abedi
Commuters complained that the signboards were too small to read from a distance, leading to confusion and traffic snarls. Pic/Sayed Sameer Abedi

The major issue, missing signage for directing motorists towards the SCLR, as pointed out in mid-day report on Saturday, marred the journey for most of the motorists using it. Though the authorities took note of the report and did install boards, they failed to serve the purpose due to their small size.

SCLR: Motorists experienced chaos on the Kurla-Kalina Flyover as well as the Kapadia Nagar Junction. Several drivers complained that it took around 40 minutes to cover the half-kilometre stretch
Motorists experienced chaos on the Kurla-Kalina Flyover as well as the Kapadia Nagar Junction. Several drivers complained that it took around 40 minutes to cover the half-kilometre stretch

This led to confusion among motorists, who were yet again spotted relying on locals and traffic cops for directions. What compounded their woes was a traffic jam on the westbound stretch of the SCLR, between Kalina-Kurla flyover and Kapadia nagar junction on CST Road.

SCLR: Traffic at Buddha Colony in Kurla (W). Pics/Datta Kumbhar, Sayed Sameer Abedi
Traffic at Buddha Colony in Kurla (W). Pics/Datta Kumbhar, Sayed Sameer Abedi

Plenty of problems
Those coming from south Mumbai via the Eastern Express Highway (EEH) were struggling to locate the SCLR due to the absence of signboards.

To overcome the problem, traffic department deployed nearly six traffic constables at important junctions to guide motorists towards the SCLR.

Similar chaos was observed at the EEH’s Chembur flyover end and the start of SCLR’s Chedda Nagar Junction. Motorists were in a quandary over whether to continue on the highway or turn on to the SCLR for western suburbs. Motorists taking the EEH to reach the SCLR have a couple of options.

They can either take the route that is still accessible from Amar Mahal Junction, as told by the traffic cops, or pass the junction to take the upper deck of the SCLR.

The major hurdle motorists faced was that they had to halt to read the small signboards and then turn for Tilak Nagar and Nehru Nagar or take the upper deck that directly opens at Kurla junction and connects to the CST Road which finally leads to the WEH at Santacruz.

The SCLR’s lower deck has a massive junction that takes motorists to Nehru Nagar and Tilak Nagar. However, several vehicles were seen plying on the flyover with their drivers assuming that it goes straight to these two places. But the flyover has numerous entry and exit points to reach these locations.

Traffic snarls
It was observed that traffic flow towards Chembur from Santacruz via the CST Road was moving smoothly, except on the stretch between Kalina and Kurla- Kalina flyover, which experienced a jam due to illegal parking and shops. It took 30 to 40 minutes for motorists travelling towards Chembur to cover the distance of just half a kilometre.

Worst affected was the stretch towards Santacruz from Chembur — as vehicles were seen moving at a snail’s pace from Halav pul up to Kapadia Nagar Junction on the CST Road. Motorists were caught in traffic jams due to haphazardly parked vehicles and encroachment by scrap dealers whose shops were located next to the road.