Bandra Kurla Complex is one of the most sought after commercial area in Mumbai. However reaching there from railway stations on either end — Bandra and Kurla — is an issue. It’s a daily struggle to reach BKC as the roads are cramped, it is overcrowded and auto rickshaws have become a menace. However finally from June 16, commute from Bandra to BKC was revived as the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) have resumed six of their routes connecting Bandra station and Bandra Terminus with BKC after a gap of nearly 18 months.
These BEST bus routes had been vital for several thousands of people especially office-goers who have been dependent on this form of mass transit. The BEST finally revived these bus services connecting BKC with Bandra station and Bandra Terminus that was discontinued during lockdown. The primary reason was a crucial work of a nullah that was opened up for cleaning and widening right opposite Bandra (E) railway station.
This led to the bus stop being unusable as it shared the boundary wall with the nullah which was torn down for this work. The result of it was, it could have proven dangerous for passengers waiting at the bus stops, of which queues used to be serpentine. According to BEST spokesperson Manoj Varade, on Thursday they restored 6 bus routes starting from Bandra (E) station and terminus.
“Due to improvement works outside Bandra (E) station, we had discontinued few bus routes. We have now restored six routes and remaining routes will also be restarted shortly,” said Varade. These bus routes include 316, 317, 182, 183 (both women special bus routes), BKC 1 and BKC 2 that are air conditioned buses. These ply on Bandra Terminus to Bandra Colony, Tata Colony, Diamond Market, C.A. Institute and BKC. The bus routes of 303 and 310 are yet to resume which are also important buses for Kalanagar and BKC areas.
There were at least two to three different bus routes that were affected. It was a problem area for office goers from BKC who were forced to either walk all the way from the highway or take share autos, which are a menace there. These share auto rickshaws charge fares per seat depending on time of the day, seat more than permissible numbers and rarely follow traffic laws as they over speed, and drive rashly. Everyday people were forced to work on the narrow congested road that is illegally occupied by hawkers, randomly kept garbage bins and even the skywalk is in shambles.