Mumbai: Bandra Terminus ROB may soon get WEH arm
MMRDA has not yet built the arm of the flyover connecting it to Western Express Highway; it will discuss its completion in a meeting with Western Railway this week
This is one flyover that is useless to motorists unless the differences between the Western Railway (WR) and Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) are sorted. The Road Over Bridge (ROB) connecting Bandra (west) with Bandra Terminus cannot be used to its full capacity, since it hasn't been connected with the Western Express Highway (WEH), which is vital for the smooth travel of motorists.
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The idea behind constructing this bridge was to decongest the existing road passing by Bandra railway station on the eastern side. At present, scores of auto rickshaws – both legal and illegal ones – block the two-lane road there. PIC/Nimesh Dave
Sources in WR said, as per their plans, this road over bridge is meant not only for connecting Bandra (west) with Bandra Terminus, but also for having a connecting arm all the way till WEH. mid-day had first reported about this in October 2014: 'R28-cr Bandra Terminus Railway Over Bridge blocked by slums'.
The whole idea behind this bridge was to decongest the existing road passing through Bandra railway station in the eastern side. At present, scores of auto rickshaws — both legal and illegal ones — block the two-lane road there.
Meanwhile, reaching Bandra Terminus takes at least 30 minutes or more from the Kala Nagar junction on WEH.
However, WR officials claim that by extending it towards WEH, it will drastically decrease the road traffic between Bandra's suburban and outstation stations, both of which are infamous for traffic snarls. WR authorities met the MMRDA – responsible for extending this arm – on the same day when Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu met Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
Railway officials said that there is a need for a connector on the Dharavi-end of this ROB that can go through the railway land with a couple of pillars running through the slums. The second elevated arm can be towards Kala Nagar that can again be built over the slums and pillars can be erected on small patches of land available there.
Work began on the Rs 28-crore project in late 2011, but was stopped soon, after constructing barely 100 metres of an upward-sloping road, beginning from Bandra Terminus, since the further patch of plot over which it is supposed to pass is populated by slums. A major fire had engulfed the shanties here in 2012, and the tin huts made a resurgent return as two-storied concrete buildings.
GC Agarwal, General Manager, WR said, "We met the MMRDA commissioner and apprised him about the situation. He has assured us that they will come up with a solution and extend this ROB". Officials added that the full optimisation of the ROB would happen only when WEH is connected. "Currently, WEH is barely being utilised for this ROB. Once its extension [is complete], it will help us decongest road traffic outside Bandra station and people will reach Bandra Terminus in a faster and easier manner," Agarwal added.
Meanwhile, sources in MMRDA said, "The Chief Secretary's office will call a meeting this week. We would be meeting the railways [for discussing] the Bandra Terminus land issue."
Currently, the situation is such that auto rickshaws, especially the share-rickshaws, block the road in order to take people coming out of the railway station to Bandra Kurla Complex. In the melee, there are heavy traffic jams all the way till the highway. People heading for the Terminus also face lot of trouble. Currently Bandra Terminus sees around 144 passenger trains arriving and leaving everyday. On an average, each train carries 2,000 passengers.
Due to the menace of the auto rickshaw driver, the BEST, had temporarily stopped their bus services till Bandra Terminus, but after the intervention of the state government they re-started it. However, this has led to no improvement in the traffic