The problems at Chembur station are not vastly different from the other stations in the city. Unruly motorists, reckless autorickshaw drivers, buses adding to the traffic congestion outside the station, illegal hawkers and illegally parked vehicles — it has all been seen before.
But according to the transport experts, it is unruly pedestrian traffic that is the cause of most concern.
There is no system for them to get autorickshaws in a disciplined manner.
The result: Most autorickshaw drivers stop for passengers just outside the station on the east side.
Experts suggest a simple solution — changing the direction of the traffic on the road outside the station. “There is no need to add any new roads to the existing infrastructure. NG Acharya Road [or station road] should be made one way.
And then traffic coming from Kurla and Subhash Nagar to NG Acharya road can be diverted via Ambedkar Udyan, freeing the station road,” said MN Rammurthy, transport expert.
NG Acharya Road runs parallel to the Chembur railway line and sees maximum traffic because motorists coming from Subhash Nagar, Kurla and commuters exiting the station all converge on to it.
Rammurthy insisted on road engineering and a change in traffic movement to solve the congestion outside station.
Experts also suggested extending the FOBs, as it was planned under the Station Area Transport Improvement Scheme (SATIS).
It will help disperse pedestrians from the station road with one landing at diamond garden, while another opposite the station road, near the auto stand.
The eastern side of the station, which is always crowded, has only one entrance, Experts suggest adding another entrance on the on the northern end of the station to ease the congestion.
A commuter said, “On Monday, you will witness comparatively less traffic jams on the station road because markets are not operational. So there are fewer hawkers and pedestrians blocking traffic.”
As outside every station, hawkers and illegal parking are also a problem. “There is absolutely no space on the footpath because of encroachment. So pedestrians have no choice but to walk on the road.
Removing encroachments and building a parking lot are absolute necessities to decongest this area outside the station.
The parking lot can be built on the land near Natraj Cinema,” said Rajkumar Sharma, advance locality management (ALM) from Chembur.
Meanwhile, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said it has undertaken a drive across the city to free footpaths of encroachments and illegal hawkers and claims to have removed over one lakh hawkers across the city.
Experts sought political will and coordination between authorities to solve the problems plaguing Chembur station.
EXPERT SOLUTIONS TO DECONGEST CHEMBUR STATION AREA
Build better roads
On the west side of Chembur station, experts suggest building the Development Plan road connecting PL Lokhande Marg to Chedda Nagar. Expert also suggested developing and connecting the encroached road on the south side of the flyover on the Mahul-Ghatkopar road, and widening the road on the northern side of the flyover. They also suggest reworking the Amar Mahal junction
Regulate hawking and illegal parking
Outside Chembur station (on both sides), encroachments have eaten into the space on the footpaths and illegally parked vehicles take up half the road. Experts suggest removing the encroachments to get the pedestrians to use the footpath. They also suggest a parking lot near Natraj Cinema to get rid of the illegally parked cars
Relocate bus stops and auto stands
The absence of an auto stand on the station’s eastern side inconveniences commuters. Experts suggested setting up a stand on the road opposite the station’s exit, (perpendicular to NG Acharya Road). The road is 60 feet wide and can accommodate 3 lanes of autorickshaws that can be dedicated to different routes
Provide additional exit in the east
At the moment, the station has only one exit in the east and hence dispersal of commuters is a major issue here. Providing another exit will take care of this problem
Improve station entry point
Experts suggest widening the station’s entrance by removing the ATM machine and hawkers. These obstacles are making it difficult for commuters to spot the station’s entrance
Better railway infrastructure
Experts suggest there is scope to build a new platform bridge on the station’s west side because there is enough land available. It will also reduce pressure on the existing island platform, making passenger dispersal quick.
Extend existing FOBs
Authorities had planned a Station Area Transport Improvement Scheme, in which they were to build an upper deck at the station with a ramp, but this was scrapped. Experts suggest interconnecting the existing FoBs and extending the FOB in the east outside the station with an exit to the road leading to Diamond Garden
Change traffic movement
Experts suggest changing the direction of traffic outside the station’s east side. They suggested making NG Acharya Marg to Subhash Nagar one-way for north-bound traffic. South-bound traffic should be diverted via Ambedkar garden and Natraj Cinema. The road between Ambedkar Garden and NG Acharya Road should be made one-way keeping a small portion of it between 21st Road and Ambedkar garden for 2-way traffic
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