THANE: Motorists may get some relief from the traffic congestion as the repair and renovation work of is expected to end by September 10. So far, 40% of the work is complete and the state authorities are hopeful that the eight-lane new road will soon be able to take the traffic load off the city streets.

The shut down of Mumbra bypass had led to traffic jams not only during peak hours but at other times as well as motorists were forced to use other alternatives.

“As many as 30,000 heavy vehicles, including trucks, trailers, chemical tankers and oil tankers using Thane city roads while driving down from JNPT and Gujarat or North India are forced to use alternative routes as the Mumbra bypass was shut for traffic by the public works department since mid-May. Because of this, roads like the Eastern Express, Nashik highway and the Thane-Belapur road started witnessing massive traffic jams as the slow-moving heavy vehicles often block up major parts of the road, resulting in delays.

Commuters have been complaining of slow moving traffic. “There is no regulation on movement of trucks that ply at any time. Because of this, they tend to eat up more road space. Further, most of them breakdown on flyovers which just adds to the problems. The authorities also seem to have cast a blind eye to encroachments by tempos on the service road,” said Arvind Koushik, a resident of Ghodbunder Road.

“Earlier, we used to cross the city limits within 15-20 minutes; but now it takes over an hour to reach just the toll naka. There is a traffic mess on Ghodbunder Road every day as it takes 2 to 3 hours to cover just a 9-km journey. Heavy vehicles tend to ply on the street since 9am which just adds to the problem,” said Abhishek Vasa, a commuter.

The increasing complaints from motorists had forced the district authorities and guardian minister Eknath Shinde to set up a joint committee, comprising of revenue and traffic department officials to monitor the situation till September 10. The PWD said that they are working on throwing open the road by the fresh deadline justifying how fresh incidents delayed the work.

“Nearly 40% of the work on repairing the railway bridge and the ramp is completed since mid-May when we started the job. We have been given a fresh deadline of September 10 for the work. Incessant rains and landslides at the spot delayed our work but we are working to open the lanes on time,” said an official from the PWD department.
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