Rs 36 cr plan to fix Metro entries, exits
Rs 36 cr plan to fix Metro entries, exits
Bus stops will be shifted; designated zones for autos, cabs; no hawking outside stations.
A week after Mumbai Mirror revealed the problems people are likely to face because of the way entrances and exits of the first 12 metro stations have been constructed, the MMRDA and the Mumbai Metro One Private Limited - a consortium of the MMRDA, Reliance Infrastructure and Veolia - has come up with a Rs 36-crore plan to decongest the access ways and station areas.
The measures include shifting BEST bus stops and public utilities, constructing connector roads to metro stations, creating designated zones for autos and taxis, and completely banning hawking near stations.
A Mirror test drive last week revealed that people could end up facing the same chaos they put up with at railway stations because most entry and exit points of the city's first elevated metro corridor, Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar, have their landings in front of shops, bus stops, colleges, and markets with little or no elbow room (Brace for the metro crush, MM, March 8). The test drive also revealed that traffic outside all 12 stations will be chaotic, as autos and taxis will crowd the areas (see problems and solutions).
A senior MMRDA official said that BMC, MMRDA, traffic police and BEST have come together to take up specific responsibilities to fix the problems, while the traffic simulation study for Azad Nagar and Chakala metro stations are being conducted by the Metro One consultants.
As per the station area improvement plan, parking or hawking will not be allowed within 100 mt of the stations and there will be a 200-mt-wide connector road off each metro station for buses, autos, taxis and private vehicles.
The test drive had revealed that a few areas, such as the Andheri-Kurla, will be a traffic disaster once metro services start. The entire stretch is already in a mess because of debris from metro construction and road works, and once services start, auto drivers, cabbies and hawkers will create their informal zones near exit points, making life hell for passengers and motorists, a traffic constable said.
The MMRDA officials, however, said the traffic police will ensure autos and cabbies don't park outside their designated zones provided by the regional transport office, while BMC will ensure that encroachments are removed and there is no hawking problem.
"As part of the metro stations' traffic management plan, BEST and BMC will jointly work towards relocating bus stops. BMC will also ensure parking facilities on connector roads, installation of sign posts for auto/taxi pickup and drop off areas, and streamlining of utility boxes on footpaths," a senior MMRDA official said.
The plan has been divided in five stages and 13 contractors are in the fray to implement the project. The MMRDA joint director, Dilip Kawathkar, said work had "already begun". He said, "Work on the metro station area traffic improvement scheme has already begun but it will be difficult to set a deadline. However, the project is already under way."
The Mirror test drive revealed the terminus is located at the eastern end of Ghatkopar Railway Station. The access to one of the stairways is blocked by a bus stop while another opens in the crowded market on J V Road.
MMRDA solution: All bus stops blocking the terminus access way will be shifted.
One of the stairway landings has been constructed in front of a full-grown tree.
MMRDA solution: The access way will be widened to ensure that either side incorporates the tree.
Saki Naka Station
One of the stairways ends in front of a weighbridge, while another opens in front of a pillar.
MMRDA solution: Footpaths will be widened, traffic police will ensure the area doesn't get congested.
It has six stairways, but no lift. One of the entry-exit points ends in front of a college, while another ends near a shop and a private property.
MMRDA solution: The footpath will be widened.
The stairways leading to the concourse have poor accessibility. The road below has also shrunk.
MMRDA solution: BMC will repair the road and clear encroachments.