The Santacruz-Chembur Link Road (SCLR) witnessed low traffic on the first day of its opening thanks to the public holiday on account of Good Friday that kept most of the vehicles off the city’s roads.
According to a Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) official, the authorities will be able to gauge the actual volume of traffic only on Monday, when private and government offices reopen.
While the 6.5-km SCLR stretches from the Western Express Highway (WEH) at Santacruz to the Eastern Express Highway (EEH) at Chembur, MMRDA had undertaken construction of a 3.5-km stretch from CST Bridge to the EEH.
The remaining 3-km stretch, up to Santacruz, which includes CST road and Hans Bhugra Marg, is already operational and is maintained by the civic agency.
The 3-km stretch is already witnessing traffic congestion because of encroachment by shopkeepers, hawkers and narrow patches at certain locations.
In addition, there are illegal garages on the stretch of the SCLR between CST bridge and Kurla-Kalina flyover on LBS road, which eat up a major portion of the SCLR that will add to congestion.
Joint Commissioner of Police (traffic), B K Upadhyay said, "We have started removing illegal garages. We will find out bottlenecks on the SCLR in a week’s time. Subsequently, we will take measures to ensure smooth flow of traffic."
While there were very few vehicles seen on the new road on Friday, motorists expressed their satisfaction over the connectivity it provides.
Vakola resident Manoj Chandran said, "Now, we need not to go all the way to Sion to reach the Kurla Terminus as SCLR provides direct connectivity to it."