If you think the traffic situation in Bandra is bad, it’s about to get worse.
Once the 10.1-km Versova-Bandra sea link is ready, Bandra is likely to attain the dubious status of being the suburb with the most number of vehicles clogging its streets.
The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), which will build the sea link, submitted a plan to the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) on April 29 that shows an entry/exit point on to Carter Road and Juhu Koliwada, through cable-stayed bridges.
If the MCZMA approves this plan, vehicles can get on or off the sea link from Carter Road, near the Joggers Park.
These motorists will then have to use the narrow and heavily congested Turner Road or Perry Cross Road to get to SV Road or Linking Road.
“The sea link will have connectors at Juhu Koliwada and at Joggers Park in Bandra for traffic dispersal,” a senior state official confirmed.
Currently, a little less then two lakh vehicles drive into south Mumbai every day, more than half of which are from the western suburbs beyond Bandra.
Motorists mostly use Linking Road, SV Road and the Western Express Highway to get to south Mumbai and back. Constructing a landing for the sea link at Carter Road will mean that motorists will drive through Bandra’s narrow lanes to use the sea link.
Once the Versova-Bandra sea link, which will also connect to the Bandra-Worli sea link, is operational, by conservative estimates, an additional 10,000 to 15,000 vehicles will drive through Bandra west every day. However, there is no plan as yet to improve the traffic dispersal system in Bandra.
While constructing the Bandra-Worli sea link, the state spent around Rs 106 crore to improve the state of roads around Bandra and Worli.
“The authorities seem to be making the wrong choices when planning such projects. Rather then helping the traffic scenario, this plan will end up creating more problems for the city,” transport expert Ashok Datar said.
The MSRDC officials said a dispersal system for the proposed sea link would be worked out to ensure there are no traffic problems.
The MSRDC has pegged the project at Rs 3,000 crore but it is likely to cost much more as it is nowhere close to getting started.