The Maharashtra government told the Bombay High Court on Thursday that one of the primary reasons for traffic congestion in the city was bad and pothole-ridden roads.
Appearing for the state government, Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni told the HC that the state had given a list of suggestions to the Mumbai civic body to help ease the traffic congestion across the city. They include steps such as repairing bad roads, particularly the stretches around major or busy traffic islands in the city, constructing foot over-bridges, and regulating unauthorised parking.
Various junctions in the city face heavy traffic throughout the day, Kumbhakoni said. “Therefore, it is the BMC’s responsibility to ensure that roads around traffic islands are maintained well. The potholes or damage on these roads become a primary cause of traffic jams,” he said. Kumbhakoni made the submissions before a bench of Justices Naresh Patil and G S Kulkarni.
The bench was hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed by the NGO Janhit Manch, seeking directions to the state and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to reduce the traffic woes of residents and strengthen the public transport network.
The BMC’s counsel, senior advocate Anil Sakhre, meanwhile, told the bench that the BMC had undertaken the construction of 82 new multi-level parking lots across the city. “These parking lots will accommodate over 59,000 four wheelers and once ready, will help resolve the problem of unauthorised parking on the roads to a great extent,” Sakhre said.
Sakhre said these parking lots were being constructed by private developers, who will transfer them to the civic body once the construction was complete, and will avail of FSI benefits in return.
The state also submitted that it had identified 39 ‘black spots’, or traffic junctions, within the city that were most prone to accidents. “We have informed the traffic department and the civic body of the same and asked them to take remedial measures,” Kumbhakoni said.
The bench, meanwhile, directed the BMC to inform the court of the areas where these parking lots were coming up, and to ensure that the areas which faced most problems of traffic and unauthorised parking were covered.