Fears of traffic congestion, haphazard planning and environmental concerns – there are all these and more reasons why Bandra residents want BMC to change the alignment of the coastal road proposed in the development plan.
According to the residents, the coastal road plan proposes a ring road around the Bandra Fort, and exits on Carter Road cutting through promenades and creating bottlenecks. The four-lane road narrows down as it moves towards Kandivli. The road, which will benefit only 7% of the city’s population, will cause irreparable damage to the environment, claim experts and residents.
Transport expert Binoy Mascarenhas said, “The exits are planned in such a way that it will lead to chaos near Bandra reclamation. The alignment, as proposed in the DP, will create bottlenecks that will further merge with the bylanes in the area. The purpose of the project is easing traffic movement, but the plan suggests the result will be exactly the opposite.”
At a meeting held at Bandra on Sunday, residents discussed the problems, including the alignment of the road, missing heritage structures from the plan and road widening, thus highlighting the need to bring them to the fore.
David Cardoz, an expert and a resident of Bandra, said, “The coastal road becomes a ring road near the Bandra Fort. Apart from the harm it will cause to the fort, the larger issue is whether such a road is required? Why can’t the government improve public transport, instead of spending money on development of roads? The civic body claims the alignment is not final, then why is it mentioned in the DP? We have to object to it, so that the proposal doesn’t materialise.”
R Balachandran, chief engineer, development plan, remained unavailable for comment.