The Metro rail project was announced by the state government with an objective to provide better commuting facilities to commuters. However, citizens are facing huge inconvenience due to rising traffic jams witnessed at Western Express Highway and New Link Road. Often commuters have to spend two hours while travelling from Dahisar to Andheri due to massive traffic jams witnessed on roads due to the ongoing Metro construction work. Thus, Mumbaikars won’t get any respite from traffic jams until the conclusion of the work. The width of both Western Express Way and New Link Road has reduced after barricading the area where pillars are being laid for the Metro project.
Vehicles are being parked on the left side of these roads thereby disrupting the smooth movement of vehicular traffic. Few months back, the Mumbai Traffic Police had installed signboards on roads asking people to refrain from parking their vehicles where the metro construction work is happening. Despite this, motorists flout traffic rules and park their vehicles which cause massive traffic jam on roads.
Diwakar Raote, State Transport Minister said, “Initiative must be taken to resolve this issue. The onus lies on the Traffic Department to maintain traffic discipline in the city. The traffic department must call a meeting to discuss about various steps to resolve the traffic jam witnessed on city’s roads.”
Sanjay Nirupam, Mumbai Congress Chief said, “I have already forwarded a letter to the Chief Minister about the government’s failure to resolve the traffic jam occurring due to Metro construction work. I support the Metro project but the inconvenience which is causing to people due to ineffective planning must be addressed. Strict action must be taken against those who are flouting traffic rules.”
“I also have mentioned about noise pollution occurring due to the construction activities occurring at night. Those people who are residing close to the construction work area are the worst affected as they are unable to sleep and students’ studies get disrupted. It is illegal to carry on the construction work at night. If the government fails to address this issue then we will protest against them,” he added.
Smita Wagh, BJP MLA said, “People have to face some inconvenience when new projects are announced. Citizens should understand that Metro work is being undertaken for resolving the city’s traffic woes. The work is also happening near Mantralaya and MLA hostel in south Mumbai. There is a deadline for completion of the metro project hence construction work needs to be carried out at night too.”
Navnath Khartade, social activist said, “Traffic jams are occurring due to ineffective planning of the government while carrying out Metro construction work. Even the contractual workers hired for maintaining traffic have not been absorbed as permanent employees by the government. Residents staying near the Metro construction work area must be shifted to other areas on temporary basis. The government is in a hurry to complete the work before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls to attract voters.”