Rakesh Panpaliya, who drives to his Goregaon office every day from Airoli via the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link road (JVLR) was thrilled on Monday morning when he took just 5 minutes to cross the otherwise jammed Kanjurmarg ROB. On other days, he has to wait nearly 30 minutes for the same.
The widened ROB was unceremoniously opened to the traffic on Monday after almost three years of frustrating delay . However, Panpalia's happiness was ruined in the next 10 minutes when he reached the IIT-B and Hiranandani stretches of JVLR where the heavy traffic from the ROBside took an extra 15/20 minutes to pass during the peak morning rush hour. This is the second such opening during the ongoing code of conduct for civic elections after the Burfiwala flyover in Andheri.
There are several hurdles still to be removed, "First the narrow stretch towards Radhakrishna restaurant, which is yet to be widened, the portion of Hanuman temple which still exists in the middle of the road near the IIT at Powai , and the narrow stretch of the four-lane along L&T Infotech Park still slows traffic. At these points, the JVLR is unable to offer smooth exit to fast moving traffic from the newlywidened ROB," rued Panpaliya , a structural engineer.
In the meantime, traffic officials claim that the ROB was only open for Jogeshwaribound traffic and not Vikhrolibound traffic, in the evening.
A long-standing problem on the JVLR that's yet to be resolved by the MMRDA is the temple controversy. The MMRDA and the temple trustees held talks to shift the shrine to a nearby site. An alternate site was readied but the talks broke down. The idol of Ram was shifted to the alternate site but that of Hanuman remained in the temple. Talks are now on to get another temple to shift Hanuman's idol. MMRDA officials want to finish the JVLR work as fast as possible. "We are sure of getting the temple trustees to agree to shift the Hanuman idol in the next month. The JVLR will then be complete,'' they said.
Similarly, a portion of road towards Radhakrishna restaurant in Powai is yet to be acquired to widen the road. MMRDA officials said talks were on to resolve the issue. At Hiranandani signal, the MMRDA officials refused to admit that there was any hurdle to traffic movement, saying that the signal was necessary due to the heavy flow of traffic. They have refused to entertain proposals to build a flyover over the existing signal. In the stretch along the L&T Infotech area, the road is a narrow fourlane against the six-lane width of JVLR which results in causes snarls. "Though there are small hurdles, we are taking steps to resolve them soon," said an MMRDA official.
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