Undertaking infuriates traffic police by demanding a new traffic signal and breach in the arterial Santacruz Chembur Link Road at Buddha Colony junction, to allow its tall AC double-decker buses to reach Kurla station
Buddha Colony junction on SCLR where the BEST wants a traffic signal to be installed
- First goof-up now make the city pay with a traffic mess
- The BEST undertaking has reached out to the traffic police, proposing a new traffic signal
- Adding a signal here could escalate the chaos
First goof-up now make the city pay with a traffic mess. The BEST undertaking has reached out to the traffic police, proposing a new traffic signal and breach the arterial Santacruz Chembur Link Road (SCLR) at Buddha Colony junction (also called New Mill Road junction or Halav Pul junction). This move aims to enable their tall AC double-deck buses to reach Kurla station. The SCLR, which was funded by the World Bank to streamline cross-city traffic, spans 6.45 kilometres.
A visit by mid-day to the New Mill Road Bridge (Halav Pul) spot, where the BEST intends to introduce the new route, revealed the area already in disarray without a signal. Adding a signal here could escalate the chaos. “New officials seem disconnected from ground reality. A signal here would snarl traffic from Chembur to BKC and Kalina. Also, work on Metro Line 2B is currently on at the site and has been heavily barricaded and dug up. With multiple works on, where is the space to create a diversion for buses there?” said Subhash Gupta of Yatri Sangh Mumbai.
BEST’s tall AC double-decker bus
Commuters at the Bandra-Kurla bus stops have felt disappointed since last week due to the introduction of the new, stylish AC electric double-decker bus. This disappointment stems from its inability to reach Kurla station, Bandra station, or the original 310 bus route terminus, caused by its height and technical limitations. Consequently, the BEST has been compelled to operate two types of buses for the same route. The new AC double-decker bus stands at a height of 4.75 m, surpassing the older non-AC bus fleet’s 4.38m, leading to difficulties navigating the SCLR.
“Is the BEST team grasping the situation? It appears to be a patch-up attempt to salvage their reputation after blunders with the new AC double-decker. An AC minibus on a new route—LBS Marg, Belgrami Road, Gol Building, Bharat Talkies, New Mill Road, and Surve Chowk at LBS-BKC junction—could be the solution,” suggested Kurla resident and businessman Jitendra Gupta of Citizens' Transport Committee.
Buddha Colony junction
Traffic officials at Kurla explained the situation. “The SCLR arms from Kalina and BKC converge at this juncture, passing beneath the New Mill (Halav) bridge and continuing towards LTT, Chembur, and the eastern express highway. Introducing a signal or breach here would cause endless queues, halting traffic from various directions and leading to congestion in its lanes. We had closed this point with great difficulty, and reopening it for one bus isn't feasible, especially with the established Metro Line 2B work and pillars in place,” said a local traffic official. However, BEST officials mentioned their intent to await the traffic police response before making any decisions.
Height of the new AC double-decker bus