If civic commissioner Sitaram Kunte has his way, you can hope for better pedestrian movement on the city’s roads, a smooth ride on a coastal road and well-maintained open spaces.
Kunte, who interacted with the media at Mumbai Patrakar Sangh in south Mumbai on Saturday, laid down his priorities for the city in the coming years. The civic commissioner’s agenda would give a much-needed fillip to pedestrian movement and open spaces, which have been ignored so far.
“Pedestrians need to be a priority while setting space aside for roads. In many cases, especially on the Western Express Highway I have noted schoolchildren and senior citizens crossing roads in heavy traffic, which is dangerous,” Kunte said.
He added that there are several smaller 40- and 60-feet roads in the city that have perpetual bottlenecks as they have several missing links and end abruptly. “Every road will be accounted for through a master plan in which these issues will be tackled,” he said.
Kunte also plans to address the pending issue of road digging by utilities, which makes walking even on footpaths a major challenge. “The standing technical advisory committee formed to give recommendations has put together 150 points, which we are going to follow. Also there is a plan to have a single-duct system through which all utilities will pass to avoid digging that causes problems for people who want to walk, and in some cases traffic jams,” Kunte added.
He also said that coastal road from Nariman Point to Kandivli is a big priority to ensure a seamless high-speed drive within three years. “I recently made a presentation to the planning commission and the feedback we got is positive. Planning commission chief Montek Singh Ahluwalia said we will get an environment nod for this project,” he said. Kunte has also started interacting with the state government over the Mulund-Goregaon link road, which will make east-west travel more easy.
Kunte said that BMC would request MPs and MLAs to contribute their funds to develop open spaces within their constituencies. “We have very few spaces available. We need recreation spaces like Carter Road where two MPs, Shabana Azmi and Hema Malini, contributed funds. We will get others to pitch in for this purpose,” he said.