The Mumbai traffic police has set its sights on the 2,500-odd buses that dot the city as they worsen traffic chaos. The frequency of these buses, which operate from around 41 points in the city, increases during the festive season and pick up passengers travelling to the state’s hinterland and neighbouring states.
According to traffic police officers, these buses block lanes while parked for a long time and move only when every seat is occupied. “Several buses are parked one after the other and that creates a traffic jam. The junction at Elphinstone station bridge and Senapati Bapat road is a good example of such a mess created by private buses,” says the officer. According to a senior traffic police officer, the best solution is to have a law that would give these buses a permit, provided they have proper parking space and a specified authorised spot to pick up passengers. However, the officer adds that such laws should be given serious thought before implementation as buses play an important role in managing the festival rush.
The more workable plan, officials say, is to regulate buses at Shivaji Chowk near Deonar, and have hubs for private buses in the eastern, central and northern suburbs. “We want the private bus sector to work the same way as the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation buses which operate from depots,” says a senior traffic police officer. Vivek Phansalkar, joint commissioner of police (traffic) says his department has plans to regulate traffic and private bus fleet operators will be sounded out for their inputs.