Octori Nakas to become Bus Terminals; Bus Owners Fume!

It seems the Maharashtra government is really serious to decongest Mumbai from the traffic menace. First, it increased penalties for traffic violations to curb the traffic menace in Mumbai. Later, it made BEST bus depots available as pay-and-park lots for private vehicles at reasonable rates and now, in its bid to reduce traffic congestion on roads, the government has come up with another brilliant plan to get rid of the niggling problem of the long-distance private buses in the city.

In a path-breaking decision, the BMC has approved the proposal to convert the defunct octroi nakas of Mumbai into bus terminals!! From October 4, 2019, the 4 octroi nakas at Mankhurd, Mulund-LBS Marg, Mulund Eastern Express Highway and Dahisar will be converted into bus terminals. No sooner these bus terminals will be ready, the entry of long-distance private and government buses will be stopped and these bus terminals will be used to accommodate them.  Thus, this will permanently end the traffic menace created by private long-distance buses in Mumbai due to their illegal parking.

According to the Traffic Police, daily 3,700 buses enter and exit the city. Due to these buses, there is a huge load on the already congested traffic of Mumbai. Thus, with these buses being kept off Mumbai city, there will be a smooth commute in the city.

While the decision seems to be a right step in solving Mumbai’s traffic menace, yet the bus owners’ associations are not happy. Prashant Kharat, an owner of a private bus, criticized the BMC move. Condemning the decision, Prashant told Home Times, “This decision is incorrect. It will add a burden on the passengers. Since these bus terminals are away, passengers will have to pay an additional amount for taxi or auto to reach their destination.”

He added, “Already, the bus owners are upset by the restrictions on entering the city during peak hours. Secondly, the hefty fine is another annoyance and now these bus terminals will furthermore increase our expenses as BMC would be charging us rent for the maintenance of these bus terminals. Hence, we are unhappy.”