Unimpressed by progress made on the city’s proposed traffic restraint system, the Bombay High Court said it did not believe in the state’s promises on implementation of the scheme.
“By such speed [at which development projects in the city are moving], it is very difficult to redevelop Mumbai, it will take at least 100 years to improve the condition of the city,” was the observation made by Justice J.N. Patel.
The division bench of Justice Patel and Justice Amjad Sayed was hearing a public interest litigation filed by city-based NGO Bombay Environmental Action Group asking that the VM Lall Committee’s 2000 report, aimed at decongesting city traffic, be implemented.
The court said by introducing projects such as “high occupancy lanes”, which permit cars carrying more than three passengers, it (government) was only encouraging more private vehicles.
The state will need 100 policemen to control these high occupancy lanes, which will have 50 junctions. The traffic department has installed 70 closed-circuit cameras, which will eliminate the need for constables to guide road traffic, said Additional Government Pleader Shashi Nair.
“The government is not even able to provide basic facilities like potable water. You cannot even control the spread of disease, such things will only encourage people to leave this city,” Justice Patel said.
Nair told the court that the city’s traffic congestion will ease by 2014, pointing out that the state has proposed exclusive bus lanes, and that 10 flyovers are under construction, scheduled for completion by 2010.
“The Charkop-Mankhurd Monorail is expected to finish by 2011.
The Metro Phase 1 will be ready by November 2011. The Worli-Haji Ali sea link and the Peddar Road viaduct will be ready in four years’ time,” Nair added.
Nair also mentioned plans for nine new skywalks across the city, and widening of the Sion-Panvel Highway in four years.