The state government has finally given nod for the coastal road which will decongest the traffic in Mumbai. The coastal road is proposed to be a freeway along Mumbai’s coastline, from south Mumbai’s Nariman Point to the far western suburb of Kandivali. The 35.6-km link is expected to provide relief to lakhs of commuters who currently take up to three hours to travel the distance in peak-hour traffic. The road will complement the 17-km Eastern Freeway, which connects south Mumbai to the eastern suburbs. The coastal road also seeks to create large patches of open green space which is a rare sight in the metropolis. The government has promised to create marinas, promenades and provide pedestrians access to the green patches to walk or cycle.
It is unjustified to compare Mumbai with other cities. There is huge difference between the population of Mumbai and Singapore moreover the former suffers dearth of open spaces. The fishermen are just doing their job and are not selfish. If more reclamation is done then city may end losing up more beaches according to environmental activists.
The impressive move to construct Coastal road has come at a right time when motorists are facing tough time in the busy streets of the metropolis. Sooner or later we wish to have a free ride and coastal road has come handy to solve this peculiar problem. This thinking echoes the recommendations of a technical committee set up by the government whose report, submitted in 2011, had advanced two incredibly counter intuitive arguments for building a coastal freeway. The initiative taken by the government is a step in the right direction and needs to be complimented. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis deserves all praise for his whole hearted efforts to make things move in a proper direction. Having faced traffic jam in focal points of the city, it is time to look for an alternative. The much expected plan will cost over Rs.12000 crores but the corridor from Nariman Point to Kandivali will get major boost.
It is notable that the Coastal Regulations Zone rules will remain in force for the reclaimed land but the coastal road will soon become a reality in future. Why does this road have only 8 lanes and with 2 lanes reserved for bus transit as it reduces the number of usable lanes to only 6, only 3 in each direction and that is not a wise one with increasing traffic in the city’s roads. Singapore has 10 lanes expressways and similar land area to Mumbai. At least try to make it appear that you plan for future traffic volume while constructing roads.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)