The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has announced the construction of a three-km, six-lane underground tunnel connecting VM Road junction near Mithibai College to Relief Road extension at Daulat Nagar underneath Juhu airport at Vile Parle, which will cut down the travel time of commuters by 20 to 25 minutes.
The tunnel, which will take at least four years to complete, would be the first of its kind in the city.
The civic body has started the process of appointing consultants who will work out details of the cost, design and viability of the project.
“The construction of a road is mentioned in the city’s development plan, taking into consideration the heavy traffic at Juhu beach. The tunnel will give more relief to residents,” said S.G. Ghorpade, chief engineer, road department, BMC. “We have invited tenders from those interested in designing and constructing the vehicular tunnel.”
The tunnel is being planned as a road cannot be built on the surface of the portion where the Juhu Aerodrome is located. Aerodrome authorities are not in a position to give land due to security reasons, and even a flyover cannot be built there.
“So, a tunnel would be the best solution. The tunnel should be at least 20 metres below airport land,” Ghorpade said. “But, this is still the preliminary stage.”
Currently, it takes a minimum of 30 minutes to reach Mithibai College from Daulat Nagar through the congested area, and traffic jams are common, said an engineer from the civic road department. “After completion of the tunnel, the same distance can be covered in just 4-5 minutes.”
The state government is also exploring the possibility of a tunnel on the Nariman Point-Worli route.