The Bombay High Court has directed the city traffic department to list down the steps it proposes to take in order to curb traffic congestion in the crowded market areas in Mumbai.
A bench of Justices Naresh Patil and N W Sambre also said that the traffic department must consider introducing measures like marking some days in a week as “pedestrians only” days, and of imposing steep parking rates in crowded market areas to deter the use of private vehicles in such areas.
The bench was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL), which highlighted poor traffic management in the market areas, such as Kalbadevi, Chira Bazaar, and Crawford Market.
The plea, filed by a city resident, also said that considering that most of such market areas had narrow by lanes riddled with encroachments, it would be extremely difficult for fire tenders and emergency service vehicles to gain access in case of an emergency.
The department, in turn, had submitted an affidavit with details of the number of traffic police personnel deputed in such areas, their timings, etc.
The bench, however, observed that merely deputing traffic personnel at peak hours was not sufficient.
“What will the traffic officials do if there is no space to divert traffic in cases of a jam. Instead, you have to think of new ways to reduce traffic and provide adequate parking in market areas,” the bench said.
“Mark some days in a week as pedestrians only days, and ensure that on the days vehicles are allowed in the market area, people pay hefty parking fee. This will control the problem of illegal parking and also reduce the number of private vehicles,” the bench said.
It also directed that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) be made a respondent in the case so that the civic body, too, could pitch in with its own suggestions on the issue.