You can say goodbye to bottlenecks at Bandra station in the new year

Updated: Oct 17, 2018, 15:22 IST | Arita Sarkar | Mumbai

Mumbai civic body hopes to cure congestion outside Bandr West facade of station with multi-crore proposal that borrows from airport planning

The plan includes three main features - a plaza for pedestrians, pick-up and drop-off points for vehicles and separate lanes for buses, autos and cars. Illustration/Ravi Jadhav
The plan includes three main features - a plaza for pedestrians, pick-up and drop-off points for vehicles and separate lanes for buses, autos and cars. Illustration/Ravi Jadhav

If you've ever tried waiting for a friend or a cab outside the railway station in Bandra West, you know what a nightmare it can be just to find a few inches of space in the melee of commuters, hawkers and autorickshaws crowding the entrance at all times. The BMC has now come up with a Rs 3-crore plan to get rid of the bottleneck, with separate lanes for buses, autos and taxis, along with pick-up and drop off points for cabs and private vehicles.

Lots more space
Utilising the land handed over the by Western Railways earlier this year, the civic body will widen and concretise the Station Road and add a large concourse where pedestrians and commuters can walk or wait. The proposal, which roughly borrows certain elements of airport planning, has been formulated by H-West officials with the help of architects. At the initial stages of the planning, the project was expected to cost around R90 lakh. However, with the inclusion of additional features, the cost today is estimated to be around Rs 3 crore.

People have long complained about the heavy congestion in front of Bandra station, mostly due to autorickshaws and hawkers who sell their wares along Varaskar Road, leading towards the Lucky Signal, and on Guru Nanak Road towards the Turner Road junction. This plan will address the pedestrians' woes, as space has been allotted for footpaths.

Coming soon
Civic officials are confident that they will be able to complete the project by January. "We are re-modelling the junction to relieve the traffic bottleneck in front of the Bandra railway station, and the work will begin soon. We hope this can also be a solution to deter hawkers from blocking the way for pedestrians," said Sharad Ugade, assistant municipal commissioner, H-West ward.

Another official said that they will use 2,970 sqm handed over by the railways, running from Bandra Masjid to RPF police chowky, to wide the road from 90 feet to 120 feet. The BMC paid the Railways Rs 2.25 crore for the land.

"In order to decongest the entire stretch, we will create designated lanes for buses, autos and taxis. While there will be separate stops for BEST buses and private buses, taxis and private vehicles too will have separate pick-up and drop points, just like in an airport," said the official.

He added that apart from concretising the road, the plan also includes a public plaza that will have signboards, a traffic police chowky, and seating arrangement will be made for commuters and senior citizens.

Since the Bandra station is a Grade I heritage site, the plan has been sent to the traffic police as well as the Heritage department for approval. Other aesthetic aspects of the plan include vintage-style streetlights, public toilets and a cycle stand.

An agreement for the project is anticipated to be signed with the Railways later this week, and the H-West ward officials will float the tenders for the project by the end of this month.

Also Read: Mumbai: Dogged slums re-emerge in Bandra East

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