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The day Could not have started worse

Image Credit: deen
I took about 2½ hours to reach office today. Apparantly some truck has oveturned near Chembur and hence all traffic from the Sion-Trombay highway has been diverted towards the Suman-nagar flyover (where Eastern Express enters the Island city). This has resulted in a huge traffic jam at Sion.

The small incident explains how fragile the infrastructure demand-supply equilibrium is in Mumbai. The roads are just about sufficient to support traffic. So, if it rains or a truck/bus stranded on the road side - it creates queues of traffic kilometers long.

Image Credit: Marc van der Chijs
This is because of multiple reasons - first of course being that road-space is narrow. The others are like:
  • There are no alternate routes to reach the Island city apart from the arterial roads. The JNPT road remains unutilized even at the time of the traffic jams and natural calamities like water logging.
  • The Highway Maintenance services such as towing trucks to clear stranded vehicles are not sufficient.
  • There is no organized public warning system - apart from the fact that the huge LED hoarding put up by the traffic police are far and few, they anyway are used only to display public-services messages and little traffic updates are available on them.
  • There is little automation in Traffic management of the city. For the amount of traffic that Bombay has, all major roads need to have monitoring cameras which along with all major traffic signals should be linked to a common hub-station to coordinate movement of traffic across the city.
  • Lack of driving discipline; while I dare say that Bombay has the most disciplined driving in India - a lot still is left to be desired. Especially the taxi drivers (call center cabs included) and even some BEST bus drivers need to be taught some basic of lane discipline.
At the end of the charade, my day started as bad as good it had started yesterday. This has reduced my productivity throughout the day.

Leave alone the actual tangible hours lost by millions of workers in the city during travel - the subsequent loss of productivity, due to bad mood set by the harrowing morning experience, is costing us more. Just imagine, how much more productive the whole city can become if we improve infrastructure of the city and how much we may be loosing due to such teething problems surmounting.


  1. Agreed... and I'm on the Sion Trombay highway... Corporate park. The next time ur stuck in the jam... just turn ur head around the tallest building around houses me...


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