A Look At Mumbai Amid Rain, Metro Construction And Traffic
While work on the Metro projects is in full swing to make the commute easy for Mumbai, the early arrival of the monsoon maybe causing jitters among city dwellers.
Mumbai Metro, a success story
A feat of 400-million ridership mark and going strong, the Mumbai Metro Line-I continues to be the preferred mode of transport for passengers commuting between suburban stations of Andheri and Ghatkopar, and shorter distance stations, as per the Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL). In a recent statement, R-Infra owned MMOPL has revealed that ridership on the Versova-Ghatkopar has increased by 13 per cent during 2017-18.
Four years after it became operational, the Metro Line-I has indeed been able to provide the last-mile connectivity to commuters. Among the 12 stations, Andheri and Ghatkopar stations witness the highest ridership on weekdays and the Andheri-Western Express Highway and the Andheri-Azad Nagar stretches are the shorter routes that have seen increased passenger traffic by 48 per cent and 45 per cent, respectively, according to MMOPL data.
The MMOPL attributes the growth in ridership to the traffic congestion along Western Express Highway and Link road owing to ongoing construction works for other Metro lines. Moreover, during heavy rains, the Versova-Ghatkopar corridor has become a safer option for commuters who wish to avoid navigating through waterlogged roads. It is no surprise that commuting in Mumbai once other Metro routes are commissioned, will be a new experience - a comfortable one - to say the least.
The other side of the coin
While Mumbai is readying itself for the monsoons, several infrastructure projects which are underway have brought the focus on the preparedness of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in tackling road congestion, traffic snarls and flooding. For instance, Andheri is one locality in Mumbai that is facing a hard time dealing with encroachments, open manholes and haphazard vehicular movement. The Bombay High Court has asked the city traffic department for a plan of action on tackling mounting traffic issues.
The BMC has identified 225 flood-prone spots, 17 out of which are areas where civil works by Public Works Department (PWD), projects by railway authorities and Metro line constructions by Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), are in progress. The civic body has also pointed out that the city’s western suburbs - where the longest Metro line 2 (Dahisar - Charkop - DN Nagar) is coming up - is highly susceptible to flooding problems. Some of these localities include Ghatkopar, Goregaon West, Borivli, Mulund and Chembur. The situation in other areas, like Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road on the Metro line 6 (Lokhandwala-Kanjurmarg) and JSS Road in Girgaum on the Metro line 3 (Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ), have irked the nearby residents.
The BMC deploys dewatering pumps every year which need monitoring as faulty pumps have majorly led to flooding problems. However, the civic body has marked 45 locations where stormwater drains and manholes were damaged because of barricading and piling debris of these ongoing Metro works. Meanwhile, citizens are keeping fingers crossed till the authorities get into action.