Thursday, August 5, 2021
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Make Mumbai pedestrian friendly

To overcome parking problem and for the free flow of traffic, a recommendation can be made to reduce the size of both the platform and the divider narrower to make the roads wide in view of the traffic jams in the sensitive pockets of Mumbai. The main idea is to clear of all encroachment and pave way for pedestrians to pass through busy areas of the city. Places like, Chembur, Khar, Andheri and Wadala are overcrowded as the traffic crawl in these areas and the chances of accidents are very high. The BMC should absolve all the responsibility and there the role of corporation is needed very much.

The pavements of Mumbai are at present in a deplorable state, mainly due to the infiltration of commercial establishments into the space provided for pedestrians are misused by people having vested interests. Pedestrians are forced to confront unevenly laid blocks, encroachment by vendors, vehicles parked on the pavement in a haphazardly manner and even daredevil footpath riders pass through pedestrian’s way. Whenever traffic jam occurs, the two wheeler riders invariably hog the pavement, making it difficult to pedestrians to walk. Footpaths are already occupied by vendors selling vegetables, fruits and other commodities. Therefore pedestrians have no space to walk as they have to struggle to reach towards their destination. The road and the pavement seem to merge and the speeding vehicles appears to own the space.

Vehicles are sometimes parked on footpaths as citizens have to walk on roads. Due to poor frequency of buses and autorickshaws Mumbaikars have started using two wheelers for reaching station. More than five lakh vehicles have been registered in the city since last three years.  Moreover cars and bikes are parked on both sides of the streets. The number of condemned vehicles is parked unclaimed and both the RTO and Police have no say to remove them which will pave the way for additional parking.

BMC is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the vital civic necessity appears to be helpless to face many obstacles that impede the improvement of pavements. The primary problem, the corporation has faced is its inability to protect public spaces as they are widely being encroached. This was repeatedly brought to the notice of courts but to no avail.

It is hoped that in the future, with public involvement and official intervention the civic body can find a solution for addressing the problem. We hope that better council will prevail and we can have unimpeded wide pavements and bi-cycle track.

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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