Decongest Mumbai roads in peak hours by restricting truck traffic

Decongest Mumbai roads in peak hours by restricting truck traffic

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We are all very familiar with the traffic situation in Mumbai. Highways, main roads, arterial roads, lanes are all congested at all times. The situation gets worse in peak hours i.e., 8am to 11am and 5pm to 10pm, when most of student and working population is commuting across the city. So what is the solution?

While an infrastructure upgrade is definitely needed, there are other measures that can immediately help reduce the problem. Heavy vehicles contribute significantly to the traffic both due to their size and speed at which they move. It seems pretty obvious to me that if such vehicles are not allowed during peak hours, it will help reduce traffic, clearing the way for private vehicles and public transport. The best part is the rule already exists - heavy vehicles are not allowed inside Mumbai city limits (which is after the toll at various entry points) in certain hours. But this rule is flouted by them every single day. I drive a distance of 26 kms one way daily in these very hours through Eastern Express Highway and everyday I see a lot of heavy vehicles on the route both ways. More often than not, I am delayed on my route only due to this traffic. Moreover, these vehicles do not follow any kind of lane discipline even on a 4-lane highway and end up blocking all the lanes. One has to zig-zag through them, which is really dangerous! I am sure a lot of you too deal with this daily.

I am amazed that despite such a rule being in existence since ages, it is not being enforced in the financial capital of the country whereas in many other cities as I understand either these vehicles are allowed only on specific routes and/or the peak hour rule on regular roads is very well executed with fines being levied and vehicles being stopped outside limits during those hours. So what have I done about it? Well I started with making calls to the office Mr. Amitesh Kumar, the Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) almost a year back. I was never allowed to speak to him. His office noted my complaint and asked me to send an email which I did. That email was forwarded to some other ID (I don't even know which authority that was), needless to say no action was taken. But soon after, I read in the media that Mr. Kumar was trying to enforce this rule and I was thrilled, may be it was a coincidence, but didn't matter as long as the required action was being taken. For a few days I did notice the trucks being stopped at Airoli toll. But in a few days, it was rolled back. I called his office again and I was told it was being reviewed. Since then I have seen no further action on this. I am assuming he was forced to bow down to the pressures of the Transport lobby.

This is what always happens, those in power get away and we, the commoners, continue to suffer. Over the last year and even recently I have spoken to various traffic zone heads, they all admit that the rule exists but claim it is not in their powers to enforce it. Finally, I have decided to start this petition and I am hoping my fellow Mumbaiites will support me in this.

To me it’s a no-brainer - what business do heavy vehicles have being on the roads in those hours? Commercial deliveries can be made at any hour during the day. Enforcing a rule that already exists will help reduce congestion in a city that's crumbling and will significantly help us daily commuters. Saving of fuel, time, energy and lower rate of accidents are some of the obvious benefits. It even eases the situation for the over-worked traffic cops. In fact even smaller commercial delivery vehicles should not be allowed in peak hours. They too contribute in slowing down the traffic.

Please join me by signing this petition and let us give enough reason and ammunition to the Traffic authorities to set this right! The ask is simple:

1. Enforce the existing rule of not allowing heavy commercial vehicles during peak hours

2. Peak hours should be 8 to 11am and 5 to 10pm

3. Include Light commercial Vehicles too in this restriction.

4. In the hours they are allowed to operate the heavy vehicles should only be allowed in the left lane. 

Once I have enough signatures I assure you I will try my best to see this to its logical end. Sign it now… what better than a little armchair activism to make commute in Mumbai a little better :)