Sanjana Bhalerao, Hindustan Times, October 06 2017
Link to the news article
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) latest decision to add three flyovers, one underpass, one rotary or a roundabout and a box tunnel to ease the traffic congestion has added another Rs1,100 crore to the project. When the project took off in 2014, its original estimated cost Rs1,300 crore.
This was later pegged at Rs1,800 crore after the BMC added an underground tunnel passing through the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) to obtain environmental permissions and avoid tree-cutting.
Now, the civic body has modified its original plan. To ease traffic from the Western Express Highway to Oberoi mall in Goregaon, it will construct an underpass instead of a road for motorists. After BMC officials realised that the traffic congestion at four junctions from AN Vaidya Marg to Film City Road would slow down motorists, it decided to construct a flyover, which will lead to 1.6-km-long box tunnel.
Officials said a flyover will be constructed above LBS Road so traffic can be diverted towards Nahur Road bridge. This will prevent snarls at the congested LBS Marg in Mulund. A roundabout after the six-lane tunnel under the SGNP will enable the smooth and unrestricted movement of vehicles — towards the Eastern Express Highway and Ghodbunder Road. Another roundabout heading towards Kopar Khairane will connect to the Navi Mumbai international airport.
“We have added these roundabouts and flyovers to manage traffic better and avoid creating bottlenecks,” said Sanjay Deshmukh, additional municipal commissioner, projects.
Transport experts, however, said they were unamused by how the civic body was spending taxpayers’ money. “All these projects are designed and envisioned for motorists only. As an authority that plans for the entire city, the civic body should focus on bettering public transport,” said Ashok Datar, transport expert.