Time-saver, much-needed respite and great help – these were the words used by motorists and experts across Mumbai on Monday to describe the change the north-bound arm of the Kherwadi flyover brought to their daily office commute.
The inauguration of the northern arm of the flyover has made the western express highway (WEH) signal-free, thus cutting down on the travel time. The movement on the south-bound arm of the flyover, which, so far, had lanes for north-bound traffic, too, witnessed a significant change.
“Earlier, there was one lane for north-bound traffic and two for south. This slowed down the motorists going south. With the opening of the new flyover, the southbound traffic movement will ease,” said an inspector posted near the flyover, on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
Nitin Dossa, executive chairman of Western India Automobile Association (WIAA), said, “The flyover has come as a great help. I saved 15 minutes during my travel from Flora Fountain to the airport. The stretch used to be a bottleneck earlier, but the commute was smooth today.”
Shivani Shah, a student, said, “The flyover will offer the much-needed respite to commuters. While it will put an end to traffic snarls, motorists, too, need to be more disciplined for smoother traffic movement. With irresponsible drivers, any amount of infrastructural development will not help the city.”
The flyover, however, has not solved all traffic problems. There were only six policemen on the 23.55-km stretch from Dahisar to Bandra on Monday morning. In the absence of policemen, motorists as well as bikers flout traffic norms, slowing down the traffic movement, said experts.
“The government is currently ignoring the infrastructure and transport system of the city. We want the system to be modelled on the lines of Singapore and London, but it can’t be done unless the government changes its approach,” said Dossa.