The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Develop-ment Authority (MMRDA) plans to open one stretch of the Eastern Freeway — from Orange gate to Panjarpol—by next month. While commuters from Navi Mumbai and Pune, will benefit once this stretch opens, it will not be helpful for most commuters from eastern suburbs as the construction of ramps (entry and exit points) at Anik Junction has been delayed.
If the approach ramps at the junction had been constructed in time, commuters from eastern suburbs could have reached the freeway via the Sewri-Chembur road. Now, when construction for the Orange gate to Panjarpol stretch starts in mid-May, commuters from eastern suburbs will have to go to Panjarpol square to reach the freeway. This may not be a convenient option as Panjarpol square is at a considerable distance from the highway.
Commuters will have to wait till December, when the MMRDA is expected to finish the construction of the ramps at Anik Junction.
The MMRDA has proposed two entry and two exit points to the freeway at Anik junction to provide unrestricted and faster travel for traffic from the Eastern Express Highway.
The 16.4 km Eastern Freeway is being built in three phases—9.3 km from Orange gate to Anik junction, 4.3 km from Anik Junction to Panjarpol Link Road and 2.8 km from Panjarpol to the Ghatkopar-Mankhurd Link Road.
The first two phases—from Orange gate to Panjarpol — are scheduled to be ready by mid-May, while the third phase will be ready by the end of this year.
“Initially, commuters will be able to enter and exit only at Orange gate and Panjarpol, as the ramps at Anik junction have not been constructed yet,” said an MMRDA official, on condition of anonymity.
“The procedure is complex. We will have to carry out land filling to construct pillars for two of these ramps on the salt pan land. The ramps at Anik Junction will be constructed by December, at the same time that construction of the entire freeway will be ready,” he added.