Closure of Delisle ROB hits pedestrians, motorists

Squeezed: (Above) Commuters jostle to use the FOB at Lower Parel station after the Delisle road overbridge (right) was closed for traffic on Tuesday.

Squeezed: (Above) Commuters jostle to use the FOB at Lower Parel station after the Delisle road overbridge (right) was closed for traffic on Tuesday.  

Mumbai: Chaos reigned at Lower Parel in the rush hour on Tuesday, as the Delisle road overbridge was shut for vehicular and pedestrian movement, with police barricades blocking entry from 7 a.m.

The British-era bridge was closed after it was declared unsafe. This followed an inspection last week by a team of engineers from the Western Railway (WR), the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, and IIT-B, which was carried out in the wake of the the Gokhale bridge collapse in Andheri last month.

While vehicular traffic was diverted to alternative routes, pedestrians had to walk under the flyover and take the foot overbridge (FOB) at Lower Parel station to cross over to the other side.

Many pedestrians were concerned about the growing traffic near Shingate Master Chowk at the Lower Parel–Currey Road junction. Vaishali Amin, an office goer, said, “I travel from Bandra to Apollo Mills every day and, after taking a train from Bandra, catch a taxi from the flyover. On Tuesday, a trip that used to take 10 minutes is going to take 45 minutes.”

Vedant Mandhana, who studies at Lala Lajpat Rai College of Commerce and Economics, said, “The FOB is completely crowded since people are coming from both sides. There should be a skywalk to accommodate such a large volume of people.” Many college-going students expressed concern that they would miss their lectures due to the delayed commute.

Traffic police personnel were stationed from Urmi corporate office building to Worli Naka. Ashok Dudhe, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mumbai Traffic Police, said, “For motorists, we are diverting the traffic to N.M. Joshi Marg, Senapati Bapat Marg, and Ganpatrao Kadam road.”

Police said alternative routes leading to Peninsula Corporate Park and Palladium Mall have also been devised for pedestrians.

Local residents came onto the roads to help manage traffic. One of them, Sunil Rampurkar, was advising alternative routes to commuters. “The police are trying to help. I have taken a day’s leave to assist them.” he said. Motorists, however, had concerns.

Similarly, Pooja Vichare, who works at DCB Bank in Lower Parel, and travels on her two-wheeler, said, “I’ll have to go to Bharat Mata junction and then to Elphinstone to reach Peninsula Corporate Park. This will take an extra half an hour.”

Atish Koli, a Cotton Green resident, said, “I used to take the flyover to travel to Mathuradas Mills Compound. I’ll have to park my bike near Lower Parel station, and I am worried it might get vandalised. The police have told us to go via Mahalaxmi, but that is too much of a delay for a journey that otherwise takes 15 minutes.”

The closing of the flyover also presented a problem for share taxi drivers, who would pick up passengers from outside the station. Kishore Bhandari, a member of the Mumbai Taximens Union, said, “We have been working in this area for the past 12 years. The closing of the bridge will be a big blow to our income.” The union subsequently approached the traffic police seeking permission to pick up passengers from outside Urmi Estate, which was granted on Tuesday afternoon.

Meanwhile, the Western Railway deployed personnel from the Railway Protection Force and the Railway Police to help manage pedestrians, who throng the FOB. Regular announcements were being made at the station, and police personnel kept requesting pedestrians to not linger on the FOB.

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 8:48:39 AM |

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