Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Isse takaleefdeh aur koi nahi

Big Bazaar opened up about a year ago here in Kandivli (E). Since then, the traffic problems have worsened considerably.


Kandivli(E) has a military depot towards its northern side and a food depot towards its southern side. Hence there is a single road that emerges from Kandivli (E) from the fatak. This single road, named after the local Goddess Akurli, is the life-line for everyone who stays in Samta Nagar, Thakur Village, Thakur Complex, Lokhandwala, Damu Nagar, Hanuman Nagar and so on. Many people who stay in illegal hutments along National Park boundary cannot afford to even take the bus and simply walk along this stretch.


In the evening, its waves and waves of people marching past the bhaaji waalas, as if returning from battle (of course they do). The road is just about wide for a vehicle to pass through and even the walking pedestrians considerably slow down the traffic. But of course, you can't blame them. The mouth of the road, near the fatak, actually is the most troublesome. This is because the fatak is closed during peak hours and all the bhaajiwaalas plonk themselves right in the middle of the road. Couple it with the rickshawalas, who do not care to stop at the stand but anywhere and everywhere on the road (so they can get out of the traffic that other rickshawalas have created). There is paucity of transportation to all the places that I mentioned and hence, people just ambush the next approaching rickshaw, causing it to swerve and stop haphazardly.


So, the problems facing the Kandivli (E) commuters are already enormous. Now this Big Bazaar monster. It has come up right at the junction of highway and Akurli Road. Already it was a bottleneck. But now, with the promise of cheapest prices anywhere, the neighbourhood bai to the diamond donning Shetji everyone wants a slice of the cheap khamang dhokla. Cars approaching from the highway make a improper right turn to get into the car park quickly. But with the traffic in the other lane, that is impossible, without bringing the traffic in both lanes to a virtual halt. And so it does. The road is so small, you cannot even make a U turn without reversing the car back and forth. Bikes pre-emptively start plying in the opposite lane, to be able to make the transition into the car park quickly. It is utter utter chaos.


I am very sure a lof of money has exchanged hands for Big Bazaar to begin operations without an NOC and a decent infrastructure survey by the municipality. Unless the road for the car park is opened to the highway, the condition is going to worsen. Very soon, the boiling point will be reached and there is going to be major rioting.
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