Traffic Snarl

On Sunday evening, we were making our way back from Bhavana’s parents home in Santa Cruz to our home at Kemp’s Corner. The distance is about 15 kms. It takes us about 35-40 minutes on a normal day to cover that distance. On Sunday, it took us over two hours.

The first hurdle came when we thought we’d take the Bandra-Worli Sea Link. We had taken it in the morning en route to the suburbs and that was a breeze. That evening, unfortunately, a few million others seemed to have the same idea! It was 20 minutes before we got ourselves out of the mess and back to where we were at Mahim. (Sunday was the last day of the free rides on the sea link.)

And then, there was a completely inexplicable traffic jam near Worli Naka that took ensured that we took about 45 minutes to navigate 1 km. And it wasn’t even raining — just a ligh persistent drizzle.

It was like sitting in a cage for that extra hour. One couldn’t even just get out and walk (Abhishek was sleeping). Can we (the government) do some things differently?

Traffic is not going to improve in Mumbai. But at least, we could use some technology to get people to make the right decisions. It is very frustrating not to know which road to take. This is an information problem (after it is a stupid-urban-planning-decisions-made-over-thirty-years problem), and perhaps we can at least start deploying those in Mumbai.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.