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Unclog Mumbai: Bandra’s Hill Road is shoppers’ paradise, but motorists’ nightmare

A large number of vehicles are parked on the road illegally, mostly by diners and shoppers, shrinking the road space for traffic

mumbai Updated: Dec 20, 2017 10:55 IST
Farhan Shaikh
Farhan Shaikh
Hindustan Times
Traffic at Hill road in Bandra. (Pramod Thakur/HT Photo)

As evening progresses, Bandra Hill road swarms with people gingerly threading their way through illegally parked vehicles on either side of the road. A constable deployed at the Marks & Spencer junction struggles to manage a sea of slow-moving vehicles. Dearth of traffic police, illegal parking by shoppers and haphazard hawking points have created hurdles for the smooth flow of vehicles.

“Parking in the no-parking zone is the biggest problem that we have to tackle. In the evening, there are two of us here, while two more along with an officer are usually deployed at Lucky junction,” said the constable.

Eating road space

Most vehicles that are parked on the road by diners or shoppers further shrink the road space for traffic. “Many people ask their drivers to wait in the car to avoid parking charges. This adds to congestion. We issue at least 30 challans daily for parking violations ,” said the constable.

READ: Illegal parking, Mumbai Metro work clog Link road in Malad; residents livid with traffic police

“Most of the shoppers come in their cars, especially in the evening, and would park them right outside stores. This causes gridlock. The road sees a lot of traffic as it leads to Bandra railway station. Shoppers must use pay-and-park services or the stores should create valet parking,” said Ethel Misquitta, a Bandra resident.

Long-term solutions

Can routine challans for illegal parking prove to be a deterrent? Officials say they need long-term solutions and infrastructure improvement to better the situation. To alleviate, motorists’ pligh, an official said the traffic police had approved 13 pay-and-park slots. “This is one of the steps to unclog Hill road,” said Sharad Ovhal, inspector at Bandra traffic division.

However, the traffic police said no such approval was granted. A BMC parking lot is still not operational. Officials predict that this parking will reduce congestion by half.

Activist Aftab Siddique said, “The BMC is to be blamed for allowing commercialisation of the 1.5-km route. Eateries and stores are located in old buildings which do not have parking facilities. The BMC has to take a holistic view of infrastructure, if it wants to ease congestion.” She said a parking lot is available, but insufficient.

First Published: Dec 20, 2017 10:55 IST