If all goes as per the plan, travelling to far-flung eastern suburbs might become easier. For, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) plans to construct a 33-km six-lane road connecting Nahur near Mulund to Badlapur.
The estimated cost of the project is Rs770 crore. Currently, residents of Thane and Mulund have no choice but to take a detour via the Kalyan-Shil-Mahape Road or the Thane-Belapur road to reach Kalyan, Mumbra, Ambernath, Diva and Badlapur.
The long route has to be taken due to the absence of a road between Airoli and Katai Naka along the Kalyan-Shil Phata Road. The presence of Parsik Hills between Mumbra and Kalwa, too, pose a problem in the construction of a road along the stretch.
The development authority has, however, decided to bridge the missing link by construction of a 12-km road — which will have a 1.5-km tunnel road passing through the Parsik Hills — in the first phase. Currently, there is a 1.3km railway tunnel passing through the Parsik Hills. The 1.5-km tunnel road would be the longest road in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region.
The expansion of state highway 43 between Katai Naka on Kalyan-Shil Phata Road to Badlapur will be carried out in the second phase while the Eastern Express Highway from Nahur to Airoli will be improved in the third phase.
“This 12-km link will save the commuters the additional 6-km journey,” said a senior MMRDA official said on condition of anonymity, as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
Though the bids have been invited, the MMRDA is yet to decide on when the project would commence. The officials, however, are hopeful that the project could start by the end of 2012.
As several housing projects have come up in the eastern suburbs, enhancement of connectivity has assumed more significance. The MMRDA is also in the process of building two 500-m tunnel roads as part of the Anik-Panjarpol Link Road project.