BEST wary of crowds outside Metro stations, ask for better planning
Even as trial runs continue on the first Metro rail on the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar route, the authorities are wary about the possible chaos that could ensue once actual operationsbegin.
Authorities of Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking are worried about the dispersal of commuters from the Metro stations onto the road, as thousands are expected to board and alight every day from the various stations on the route.
Officials from BEST claim that they are looking at Station Area Traffic Improvement Scheme (SATIS) to clear people after they emerge from different Metro stations on this route, but some problems have cropped up.
“Presently, there is hardly any space near Metro rail stations for bus stops to facilitate thorough dispersal of crowds using buses,” said a BEST official. Sources revealed that many bus stops have been shifted from their original locations to spots further away to make way for the Metro. This could result in chaos, authorities fear. There are vital stations on the Metro rail route, including Ghatkopar and Andheri railway stations, and many bus stops along the JP Road and Andheri-Ghatkopar Road where offices are located.
BEST officials have asked the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) to ensure that a holistic plan is put in place while constructing and developing subsequent phases of the Metro rail in Mumbai, including a better dispersal system for commuters and arrangements for buses near the Metro stations.
“We have written to MMRDA authorities to ensure that sufficient bus landing space is created for buses while planning phase-2 and 3 of the Metro rail,” said OP Gupta, general manager, BEST. There should also be thorough information about the nearest bus stops and connectivity to railway stations from the metro, BEST officials have said.
Number of low-floor, air-conditioned buses BEST will acquire under JNNURM in the months to come