MUMBAI: Told about the snail’s pace at which widening of a crucial road, linking the city to four national highways, is on, Bombay high court constituted a panel to take steps for its speedy progress.
Observing that “as the safety of commuters/ human lives is paramount”, a bench of Justices K K Tated and Girish Kulkarni directed interim measures till the project is completed so that commuting becomes more convenient and safe. The court was told that it takes hours to traverse the 5km stretch.
The court was hearing a PIL by Sushil Nimbalkar to direct MSRDC to finish work on Bhiwandi-Kalyan Shil Phata Road that links Mumbai to highways to Agra, Ahmedabad, Nashik and Pune. In July 2019, the contract was given to widen the road from four lanes to six and work was to be completed in 30 months. The petition said that in last four years there were 330 accidents and 52 deaths.
The judges, in their November 4 order, said prima facie there is much substance in contention of Nimbalkar’s advocate Shriram Kulkarni that due to the slow speed of the road project work, immense hardship is faced by citizens and particularly of the ordeal of long traffic jams.
They directed a committee be set up under the chairmanship of vice-chairman cum managing director of MSRDA or his representatives with nominated officers from each of the corporations, PWD and RTO.
“The committee may also deliberate as to whether it would be feasible to have time zones for different category of heavy and light commercial vehicles or have dedicated lanes for different categories,” the judges said. They said Nimbalkar and citizens are at liberty to make representations, including submitting video clips on traffic issues so the problem is identified and redress measures devised.