The plan to start a dedicated lane for public transport buses in Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) has been kept on hold by authorities, on grounds that there has been a significant reduction in traffic congestion, due to certain measures taken by the traffic police at the BKC junction.
According to Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), the traffic police have informed them that traffic congestion has reduced due to effective traffic signal management and segregation of traffic flow at BKC junction. Hence, the traffic police have asked MMRDA to hold the plan.
Traffic police have increased signal time for vehicles coming out of BKC junction, and constructed a barrier to segregate traffic going to Sion and Kalanagar.
MMRDA commissioner UPS Madan said, “Following the recommendations by the traffic police, we have decided to keep the plan on hold. However, we will study the traffic situation at BKC junction for the next few months and then take a decision on the plan for a dedicated bus lane.”
MMRDA had planned to start a dedicated bus lane system from MTNL junction to BKC junction from January 2015. The plan was prepared by transport expert Ashok Datar last month, which was approved by MMRDA and traffic police. Datar, however, said. “I am not aware of the development.”
As only public transport buses will be allowed to ply on the dedicated bus lane, one can reach Kalanagar in just a few minutes, from where one can take the skywalk to reach the Bandra station.
Once the dedicated bus lane service is operational, traffic police will have to play a crucial role in monitoring and controlling traffic, in order to ensure no vehicles other than public transport buses are plying on the lane. Consequently, traffic police will have to deploy more staff.
A transport expert, requesting anonymity, said authorities should play a proactive role in order to make the dedicated bus lane plan a success.
“In the past, dedicated bus lane plans failed due to bureaucratic apathy and opposition from motorists and taxi drivers. Implementation of a dedicated bus lane plan will be difficult initially, but it will resolve the traffic congestion problem significantly. Authorities need to take strong measures to start dedicated lanes in the city,” said the expert.