Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Latatai, maaf kara, nigha aata

No, that’s not from today’s newspapers. As per this link, it’s a five-year old photo of the-then (and today's) Chief Minister, Mr. Vilasrao Deshmukh presenting a bouquet to Lata-tai and Asha-tai, both of whom had visited them to voice their protest over the Government’s proposed Peddar Road Flyover. Of course, the State Govt then relented and eventually gave up the project. I hope they don't make the same mistake now.

Yet, 2006 is quite unlike 2001. We have more traffic. Considerably more traffic. We also have more newspapers and more news channels - which have warmed up to this story quite well. In fact, the best article so far, in my view, came in Mumbai Mirror a few days back which carried interviews of residents staying next to the J. J. Flyover.

My quote for the day came from the above interviews. Ms. Farida Mhyn says "Whether its Lataji or a common man, nobody can hold the city's development to ransom. We all have to make sacrifices. We made sacrifices when it was asked of us -- the construction work used to take place only in the night. You can imagine what we went through those 20 months”. Touche.

Coming back to the Peddar Road Flyover, per se, it seems to be a no-brainer. I support it, because I’m among those spending a meaningless half-an-hour to cross that 3km-stretch from Chowpatty-end to Haji Ali. Everyday. Yet, I also blame the Government for failing on the Western Freeway Sea Link Project. If this project had been completed on time, there would probably not have been any need for the Peddar Road Flyover.

Cut to the present. The Bandra-Worli Sea Link is due to be completed late next year, after which work will commence on the Worli-Nariman Point leg. That leg itself will take another four years to complete, per this article . So, ostensibly, the Peddar Road Flyover will only ease traffic pressures from Haji Ali till Chowpatty in the interim. Just for that, logically, there is a need for the flyover to be built.

The longer-term cure was, and will be, the Bandra-Worli-Nariman Point Sea Link in its entirety. And that’s due, at best, five years from now.

In the meanwhile, consider these facts and figures, from today's Times of India.

Peddar Road's traffic burden

  • Length: 3km (from Haji Ali to Wilson College)
  • Daily traffic: 60,000 passenger car units
  • Rush hour traffic as below -
  • Morning (defined as 9.30am to 11am) (south-bound): 2,000 PCUs
  • Evening (4.30pm to 7.30pm) (north-bound): 2,400 PCUs
  • Proposed flyover - 3km long and three-laned
  • Cost - Rs125crores.
  • Elevation - 5.5metres (somewhere between first and second floor)

Bandra Worli Sea Link (some more in my earlier blog)

  • Length: 5.6km
  • Lanes: 8
  • Cost: Rs1,300crores
  • Work started: 1999
  • Deadline: end-2007

Worli-Nariman Point Sea Link

  • Length: 14km
  • Lanes: 8
  • Cost: Rs3,500crores
  • Start: December 2006
  • Deadline: 4 years after work starts

Any take on what Mumbai will look like in 2010?

Blogroll for Lata v/s Peddar Road flyover.
Boolet point
Govindraj Ethiraj
Dilip D'Souza
DJ Brigger
Random musings
Lets talk sense
India Uncut
Here and there
Mumbai girl
Uptown girl
Sorry if I missed out anyone. Please do add to this list.