Mumbai, as of the fastest growing cities in India is bursting at the seams. Not very different from other cities of its equivalent size in India, Mumbai though, has its own set of problems. Rising population, mushrooming building and slums, ever increasing number of vehicles and limited development of civic infrastructure is making life difficult for people in the city. Even satellite cities of Mumbai are now no different. At this stage, when Mumbai is one of the biggest contributors to India’s GDP growth, the least that the city can afford is a series of infrastructure development which are must to keep the city moving. Here are some of them that the city needs desperately:
Multiple runways at Mumbai airport: If you travel to Mumbai or travel out of Mumbai using Mumbai airport, you will realize that how nightmarish your experience can be especially when you are traveling during peak hours. Flight delays up to one hour is very common in Mumbai and the reason for that is often described as traffic congestion. Traffic congestion is nothing but infrastructure bottleneck. Mumbai has two runways but they are cross runways which means only one can be operational at a time.
The city desperately needs at least one parallel runway and this should be done at the war footing level. For some this may look like taking care of needs of rich but this is something so essential to attract investment in Mumbai. Foreign investment as well as domestic investment can be propelled through this. Also the airline industry can grow fast in Mumbai. Delhi has taken over Mumbai in terms of air traffic growth and one of the key reasons for this is poor infrastructure in Mumbai in terms of airport. Mumbai needs at least two additional runways to prepare the city for 2050.
Introduction of E-Tolls at Mumbai entry points in the city: If you want to enter Mumbai using a vehicle, there are four entry points just before the city. These are in Vashi, Mulund, Dahisar and Airoli. During peak hours there is a huge queue before these toll collection points. Sometimes Q runs into a kilometer or more and can consume more than 30 minutes to cross these tolls. Mumbai desperately needs E-tolls. These tolls have already been implemented in many places. They operate without human intervention and save lots of time.
E-tolls work with a device. Once purchased, the device is to be put up on the vehicle and the driver has to pass through the ETC lane at slow speed where the device will be read automatically without the need of stopping the vehicle. The booth will open up automatically once the fee is automatically deducted from the motorist’s account.
Improved east-west connectivity through metro: Mumbai as a city has changed during recent times. From a city in which most of the jobs were mostly available in Dadar and beyond, now the jobs are shifting to the suburbs, causing a need for better infrastructure in the east-west corridor. A metro railway network from Vikhroli to Goregaon can make the same impact which Ghatkopar-Versova metro has done, which is de-congesting roads significantly. This kind of network can make traveling very convenient for commuters who have harrowing experience as of now on Jogeshwari-Vikhroli link road.
Water conservation through public participation: As a city of its size Mumbai receives highest rainfall in the country during monsoon season, but most of the water is wasted as it flows into the sea. It will be a great idea to start a campaign in Mumbai to encourage co-operative societies to use the concept of water harvesting. Also area wise, the large water storage project can be encouraged which would mean that people will be able to use water for various needs. This year people in Mumbai had to experience a water shortage issue because of water cuts announced by various municipalities.
Rationalization of fare of buses in Mumbai: Public mode of transport need to be viable. A recent report shows that many people have started using two wheeler in Mumbai during recent times because bus fares have gone up significantly and also buses are not reliable. To encourage usage of buses in the city, there is an immediate need to improve frequency of buses as well as to rationalize bus fares. As of now, an A.C. bus fare in Mumbai for short distance is almost equal to auto fare which is very high. If two people pool an auto, this fare looks high even for long distance travel. Bus fare needs to be subsidized and private mode of transport needs to be taxed more.
Elevated and underground parking projects: Many vehicles in Mumbai are parked in an unauthorized way on many roads. This causes problems for vehicular movement in the city. Mumbai desperately needs both elevated as well underground parking projects to ensure that there is enough space for parking in the city at key locations. Many may argue that this will encourage the use of private vehicles, but this is essential to de-congest the roads of the city.
By Vivek Sharma