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Narrow lanes, triple parking: Heavy traffic new normal for Mumbai’s Lokhandwala

Lokhandwala market is a shoppers’ paradise, but residents’ hell. 

cities Updated: Dec 22, 2017 00:21 IST
Farhan Shaikh
Farhan Shaikh
Hindustan Times
Shoppers park their cars haphazardly on the narrow lane, leading to massive road congestions.(Pramod Thakur/HT Photo)

Who would win a race on Lokhandwala main road – an average pedestrian or a person in a car?

You could walk down the 850-metre stretch within ten minutes, while it would take you anytime between 20-25 minutes to cover the same stretch if you were in a car.

Lokhandwala market is a shoppers’ paradise, but residents’ hell.

Heavy traffic has become the new normal for residents of Lokhandwala.

Vehicles parked haphazardly, pedestrians spilling onto the road as the footpaths are encroached by establishments, and road so narrow that a BEST bus cannot pass owing to double parking, is a routine scene on the main road.

“It’s not only the residents’ cars, but shoppers also park their vehicles on the road in a haphazard manner. Some would park their cars and say they will return in two minutes while some would make their driver wait inside. At this time, a passing BEST would get stuck, and congestion would follow,” said Dhaval Shah, businessman and a resident.

Shah added that at times there are triple parkings on the roads, and the situation in the evenings is nothing short of a nightmare.

Residents hope CCTV cameras on the road will help curb the menace of double parking with the help of Mumbai traffic police’s CCTV challan system. However, some blame the traffic police for turning a blind eye to the problem.

“Vehicles are parked on both sides of the roads, which easily blocks one lane, leaving only half a lane of the narrow road for vehicular movement. The owners of the establishments block the space outside their entrance with bikes, bicycles and barricades, removing them only for their customers. Police’s action on illegal parking is not regulated. Their job is not just to collect fines but to regulate traffic,” said resident Nihal Kotak, a corporate executive and a member of Lokhandwala Oshiwara Citizens’ Association (LOCA)

Local corporator Yogiraj Dabhadkar might have a solution for the problem of parking. Dabhadkar is in the process of starting a pay-and-park service at Rumwal Complex, which has a facility to park 550 vehicles.

“We are looking at this pay and park service to resolve the issue of double parking. We are also going to start a free pick-up and drop service for vehicles as a pilot project. All of these projects are expected to start in a couple of months,” said Dabhadkar.

The DN Nagar traffic division recently held a meeting with the residents and deployed traffic wardens of the area to help regulate the traffic.

However, not much has changed.

“K West is one of the highest municipal tax-paying ward and we deserve better,” Shah added

First Published: Dec 22, 2017 00:21 IST