Mumbai choked: Chaos rules SV Road in Andheri, thanks to hawkers, potholes and no space for pedestrians
Mumbai city news: There are also too many vehicles on this stretch as motorists don’t want to take the narrow and crowded Andheri subway towards WEH.mumbai Updated: Jul 11, 2017 01:00 IST
Outside: A confusion of pedestrians dodging footpath hawkers and cars dodging potholes on a road packed with autorickshaws. Inside: Hundreds heading your way in a mad rush.
Everything about Andheri station spells chaos, especially the part of SV Road that leads to it.
It’s a clear problem. The SV Road is an arterial link running through the western suburbs and to Andheri station, which thousands of commuters from areas nearby use to get to work and back. They come on bikes, cars and autorickshaws to board trains to places as far off as Churchgate. And, commuters from the other side take autorickshaws from the station to reach offices in Andheri, via SV Road. But, a road bearing this load is poorly maintained — full of potholes, has no facilities for pedestrians and is constantly jammed.
One reason for the jam is pedestrians. As hawkers selling clothes and food occupy footpaths, those walking to the station are forced on to roads. This slows vehicles.
Sudhir Badami, a traffic expert, said, “44% of the population on this road are pedestrians. It becomes difficult for motorists to make their way as hawkers are edging pedestrians off footpaths.”
There are also too many vehicles on this stretch as motorists don’t want to take the narrow and crowded Andheri subway towards WEH. Adding to the mess is the hundreds of autorickshaws. “There is always a jam here” said Shweta Khanolkar, who says she wants to take the bus, but ends up hailing an autorickshaw. “Buses are crowded.”
Improving public transport is one way out. Badami suggested mini BEST buses. “These can carry more people than autorickshaws and are compact enough to move through by-lanes, so fewer people will take autos.” Other ways out include freeing up footpaths and improving roads.
The question is: Why have authorities not found a way to unclog this stretch, which for years has been struggling to deal with jams caused by the presence of an important railway station.
It gets worse. Another mode of public transport — the Metro line — is now adding to the trouble.