The Powai Duplicity

The portion of Jogeshwari Vikhroli Link Road which hugs the IIT Powai campus and the shores of Powai lake is a lovely four lane drive.

The visually appealing buildings at Hiranandani add to the splendour of the lake and make the drive the most picturesque in the whole of Mumbai. The four lane drive just invites you to step on the accelerator and zoom from the Eastern Express Highway to the Western Express Highway. When my office shifted to Sakinaka I was overjoyed at the thought that though the office is far I could reach it relatively easily through JVLR and have a picturesque drive to keep me engaged.
Imagine my shock when after a boring day in office I get into the bus hoping to reach home in an hour, find the whole of JVLR in front of Powai blocked by traffic. Sympathetic colleagues enlighten me > apparently when the construction of JVLR begun, the infrastructure company got permissions for the construction from all the stakeholders including the local railway dept. for expanding the bridge over the railway line. Once the work was underway and construction reached the part where they had to work on the bridge and needed the rail lines to be shut for a couple of days for the work to be complete, the railways refused to do so.
The lovely flyover which seemed like a smooth slide from Powai to the Eastern Express Highway now had a nasty bump in the middle – a single lane bridge over the railway track, which ensured that the evening rush hour traffic jammed right up till IIT Powai. However, by happy chance all issues were sorted and within one month of my joining office this bottleneck was removed and the 10 meter stretch over the railway line was made two lane.
I thought now at-least I can reach home within an hour, but it was not to be, the municipal corporation had other plans. They began a massive sewage (i think it was) infrastructure renovation and dug a huge chunk out of the Eastern Express Highway right at the junction where JVLR joins the highway, effectively converting the two lane road to a single lane road. Now the bottle neck has shifted a few 100 meters but was still just as effective in ensuring that vehicles took atleast half an hour to clear that spot. A few weeks back they returned all the earth back into the hole and nicely tarred it up enabling the two lane express highway to be fully functional again.
And there I was happily making plans to take the car to office now that I didn’t have any traffic jams to content with, when I was landed another solid blow. On my way to office one fine morning I in my sleepy haze notice that the bus is taking longer than usual to get past IIT Powai. I open a bleary eye to find out what the trouble is and see rows and rows of cars and buses ahead -each and every one of them moving at a snail’s pace. Thoroughly perplexed I scanned the roads ahead for some kind of blockage on the road, but as far as I could see there were only slowly inching vehicles. It took the bus a whole of one hour to get to the Saki Vihar Road, a distance which is usually covered in 20 mins including the bus stops. Alighting the bus and hailing an auto I asked the driver the reason for the jam – Two container trucks were parked on the road somewhere near Seepz effectively creating a single lane road. Sigh!!

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