A good transportation network breathes life into a city’s infrastructural portfolio. While Mumbai boasts of an enviable rail network and also has a well-connected road network, the ever multiplying population density and a steep rise in the number of vehicles hitting the roads have made driving across the city a nightmare. The sea-link and the Eastern Express freeway have managed to provide some respite to commuters in certain areas but these alternatives are certainly not good enough. The one area that Mumbai has not explored to its optimum is its sea-front.
Here’s where the proposed 35-km link road linking the western suburbs to Nariman Point could become a game-changer. The project aims to provide a freeway that will ease traffic congestion on the Nariman Point-Kandivli stretch. Currently awaiting environmental clearance, this new link road will include sea links, elevated roads and bridges along the western coast. A city like Mumbai – that is bursting at its seams – needs to adapt modern technology and approach urban development in a systematic approach.
Traffic congestion is not merely about the loss of time which could otherwise be used productively, but it is also hazardous to health and affects the quality of life that the city can offer.
With this in mind, the project also envisages creation of 75 hectares of green open spaces and waterfronts along
the coastal stretch. The coastline will also have promenades, jogging and cycling tracks, landscaped green areas, observation points and viewing galleries. That to me, is a great way to change how Mumbai is perceived.
This project offers a winning solution to leverage the city’s most obvious natural asset – the Arabian Sea. It’s time we look at long-term solutions to Mumbai’s traffic woes and a new link road will go a long way in addressing this critical issue.