Mumbai is the financial hub of India which contributes around 7% of the country’s GDP. It is also the most populated city of India with a population of around 20 million.
This obviously makes it heavily congested with traffic also. There are about 20 lakh vehicles in Mumbai and an average of around 750 vehicles per km in Mumbai. Such a large number of vehicles are sure to cause heavy traffic and one needs to have proper planning of infrastructure to overcome this. But there seems to be no planning in the city and so every day lakhs of local commuters have to take the brunt of heavy traffic while going to office and back home and waste loads of their precious time.
So the question is what can be done to reduce the traffic so that Mumbai stops choking due to congestion and breathes some fresh air.
The answer to this can be alternative means of transport. We all know that projects like monorail, sea links, metro rail, waterways etc. are in the pipeline but we do not know when they will be completed and people will be actually able to use it.
The mono rail and metro projects (phase 1) have already missed their timelines by a big way and we do not see them starting in the near future. The monorail and metro projects will certainly reduce the traffic on roads as people will use them as they are faster and comfortable just like we have the metro network in Delhi.
Mumbai is a union of 7 islands and so it makes sense to have a water way transport for people to commute from one place to another which are connected by water. We know that is an ambitious project but one that is certainly worth looking into. There are many people that stay near the coastal areas like Marve, Gorai, Versova etc. and other creeks who travel for work to areas like Nariman point which is very near to coast itself. So water ways connecting these places makes sense.
Another way to reduce traffic can be building more fly overs so that the fast moving traffic can be deviated to them and the other traffic wanting to get in the interior of any suburb can go from below them.
Also one simple but yet effective way can be to compulsorily have timers at all traffic posts so that the stopped vehicles are ready and already started once the signal light turns green and in this manner no time is wasted.
All in all there are many ways and means by which the traffic congestion can be reduced but for this to happen there should be a stop to red tapism and politics which delays all the productive plans to save their vote banks. It would be good if the politicians stop getting into petty politics and instead of planning to build statues they plan to upgrade the infrastructure. Only then we would be able to make Mumbai alike to Shanghai.