Four months on, BMC yet to release plan for better commute

  • Tanushree Venkatraman, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Jul 19, 2016 17:41 IST

In March, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had developed an elaborate plan that will change the way you commute in Mumbai. Four months down the line, citizens and activists are still waiting to look at the plan.

The BMC had presented the Comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP) to the standing committee of the civic body in March. The plan included dedicated bus routes, a single-ticketing system for all public transport and the creation of a parking cell. The study, based on travel patterns, population and traffic scenarios also spoke of an investment of more than Rs13,000 crore in the next four years to implement the plan.

However, the BMC is yet to publish the plan on its website, which activists say is not the right approach to be adopted.

Ashok Datar, a transport expert said, “It is a study as important as the Development Plan (DP) 2034. Citizens must get to know about it. Currently, the authorities have adopted a piecemeal approach by releasing the coastal road plans, the metro plans separately. We need to know the overall picture for the city.”

The BMC, however, has said that parts of the plan have already been incorporated in the DP 2034. The blueprint for the city’s development in the next 20 years was released in May 2016 for receiving suggestions/objections from citizens by July 29, 2016.

A senior civic official said, “If people want, we can still release the CMP for public scrutiny. We have started looking at its implementation in a phase-wise manner.”

One of the most important projects under the plan included the creation of separate bus-routes on important corridors. Among the prominent routes included was a 25.9 km stretch on the Western Express Highway (between Bandra and Dahisar) and a 19.2km dedicated lane from Sion to Mulund on the Eastern Express Highway.

To improve the parking problem, the study suggests the creation of a separate parking cell and charges for parking on roads. According to the CMP, there is only one parking slot for 2.57 cars on an average, in the city. This means that around three cars fight for one parking slot daily. It also talks about creating a traffic advisory plan, effective co-ordination and improving traffic management through local plans.

What is the Comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP)?

The Comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP) is a study report prepared after analysing various parameters including population, travel patterns and delays owing to traffic snarls. In 2014, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had appointed Lee Associates South Asia as a consultant for the survey, in a deal worth Rs7.21 crore, to prepare the report. The consultants undertook various field studies in the past one and half years before submitting the plan to the civic body.

What does it include?

Improving traffic signals by making it automated

Creating a traffic advisory panel

Finding out missing road links

Creating a parking cell

Charging for parking on roads

Overhaul of the transport system by investing more in metro and monorail corridors

74.4 km dedicated bus routes at important corridors like the Eastern Express Highway and Western Express Highway

Road map for agencies suggested in the report

Removal of encroachment along major transportation corridors

Creating policies for transit-oriented development

Creating an integrated fare structure

Introduce a common ticketing system across public transport

Review investment plans every five years

What is the status?

The report has been sent to the state government. Officials in BMC say that they have also started looking at its implementation in a phase-wise manner, where smaller projects like improving traffic signals can be undertaken first.

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