Motorists commuting via the city’s most congested stretch – the Western Express Highway (WEH) – may get some respite as the civic body has asked the Bombay Exhibition Centre (Nesco) in Goregaon to not hold any events till metro work completes.
Over the last few years, motorists taking the WEH have had to brace long queues and congestion during peak hours in wake of the lane closures brought on by the Metro 7 construction work.
The situation worsens everytime Nesco, Mumbai’s biggest exhibition venue, holds an exhibition or event on their premises.
Each event leads to an inflow of several hundred vehicles, which coupled with the lack of adequate parking, results in cars being parked on service roads.
The resultant traffic affects motorists travelling via WEH, and often spills over to the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road (JVLR).
Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Amitesh Kumar, also attested to the fact that the exhibitions drastically impact the traffic movement on the stretch.
With no alternatives in sight, and the situation showing no signs of alleviating, the civic body has asked the firm not to hold any further events.
In a letter dated August 24, the civic body has said that exhibitions at Nesco lead to congestion on the WEH and affect the movement of emergency vehicles like ambulance and others like school buses.
“In view of the above, permission for any exhibition/ events at Bombay Exhibition Centre, Goregaon (E) cannot be granted henceforth considering the public interest at large,” it says.
“You are hereby directed not to conduct any event at the subject location henceforth, failing which action, as deemed fit under the suitable provision of MMC and MRTP act, will be initiated against you,” it adds.
Incidentally, another major venue for such events in the city, MMRDA Grounds in BKC, has also become out of bounds to accommodate the construction of Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train terminus and Metro 2-B.
Impact on NESCO
While Nesco has refused to comment on the matter so far, its senior officials are expected to meet today to discuss it internally.
It has also clarified that the BMC directive will not affect the Automation India Expo 2018, organised by IED Communications Ltd between August 29 to September 1.
However, uncertainty looms over the future of at least ten more exhibitions have been scheduled in the one month post that, according to the online calendar on its website.
Since the exhibition and ancillary income reportedly account for nearly 40 percent of Nesco’s revenues, the abrupt decision may impact the market standing of the publicly traded company.
Further, if the company is forced to cancel events that have already been scheduled, it may hamper it’s and the city’s reputation in the business community, including foreign nationals that are often invited to speak or attend events there.
It’s safe to assume that Nesco officials will hold talks with the BMC to find a middle ground, wherein they are able to continue holding exhibitions while ensuring that there is no adverse impact on the traffic.
However, the order will remain in effect unless the BMC says otherwise.View Realtime Updates