Maximum city not friendly to cars anymore

The total number of trenches will not cross more than 5 per cent of the total length of the road.

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Currently, the 1,980 km of road network in the city accommodate over 33.52 lakh vehicles in a day. However, with the ongoing construction work on various phases of Metro, other road repair projects, work on drainage and sewerage lines, cable repair and other utilities across the city and its suburbs, driving is nothing short of a nightmare. According to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), nearly 99 km of the road network have been dug up for various civic projects. Over 12,000 permissions are given each year for trenching across the city. The total number of trenches will not cross more than 5 per cent of the total length of the road.

A civic official clarified that a dug up road is expected to be restored to its original condition within seven days after trenching activity ends. "However, many contractors don't follow this and a shabby road is left behind," he said.

At present, the MMRC is carrying out construction work on a 136 km-long-stretch in Mumbai and Thane. Work on 29 km of the Metro rail route is expected to begin this year too. These projects pose a threat to most of the city lanes that are not more than 3.5 metre in width.

"If we consider the average length of a car as 5 metre and if a kilometre-long road is not available for plying then, the situation takes away the carrying capacity of around 200 cars," said Ashok Datar, transport analyst and chairman, Mumbai Environmental Social Network.

Ali Daruwala, spokesperson, All India Petrol Dealers Association said, "In recent times, there have been several instances where people went to petrol pumps with an empty bottle asking for fuel as their car was stuck in traffic and had run out of petrol or diesel." The reason for increasing road traffic is the burgeoning number of vehicle registrations, experts said.

There are four RTOs in Mumbai; Tardeo, Andheri, Wadala, and Borivali. As per latest figures from March 2018, on a daily basis, 821 vehicles are registered on an average. In totality, there were 2.99 lakh newly registered vehicles in 2017-18 wherein the maximum number of vehicles were registered in the eastern suburbs at the Wadala RTO followed by RTOs in the western suburbs of Borivali and Andheri, and then, Tardeo in the south.

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