Delayed by 10 years, Mumbai commuters file online petition for widening Kopri bridge | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Delayed by 10 years, Mumbai commuters file online petition for widening Kopri bridge

Mumbai city news: More than 2,900 people have signed the petition, which is addressed to the chief minister and railway authorities, since it went online on June 19

mumbai Updated: Jun 22, 2017 09:53 IST
Megha Pol
The petitioners also claim that if the online petition does not make the government take action, they will file a Public Interest Litigation.
The petitioners also claim that if the online petition does not make the government take action, they will file a Public Interest Litigation. (Praful Gangurde)

Thane residents have filed an online petition demanding that Kopri Bridge, along the Eastern Express Highway, be widened. Thousands of commuters who travel from this narrow bridge are stuck in traffic for over 45 minutes every day.

The petitioners also claim that if the online petition does not make the government take action, they will file a Public Interest Litigation (PIL).

They said the bridge-widening work has been delayed for more than 10 years and owing to polls, the state had sanctioned Rs259 crore for this bridge last year. But the work on the four-lane bridge that was supposed to start after monsoon last year is nowhere close to start.

The online petition filed by Thane resident Sagar Dani said, “It takes more than 20 to 30 minutes during peak hours to cross the mere 1-km stretch. The impact is so huge that the traffic is blocked for more than 3 km till Mulund toll naka. The bridge needs to be widened to put an end to commuters’ woes. If no action is taken on this petition, we will file a PIL.”

More than 2,900 people have signed the petition, which is addressed to the chief minister and railway authorities, since it went online on June 19. “People lose 45 minutes every day in traffic on this bridge. Around 1.22 lakh people cross it and assuming that 50,000 vehicles with two people each, are stuck in traffic, 75,000 hours per day are being wasted. By the same calculation we also end up wasting fuel worth Rs100 crore every year. The impact to the environment due to the vehicular pollution is also huge and cannot be quantified.”

Thane MLA, Sanjay Kelkar, who had followed up on the issue in the last few years, said, “The design of the new eight-lane bridge is ready and the MMRDA that is constructing the bridge will get approval from the railways in 15 days. The tendering process can then begin and the work should start by the end of monsoon this year.”

The present scenario

The Kopri Bridge is on the Eastern Express Highway which goes towards Mumbai and Navi Mumbai.

Everyday lakhs of commuters cross this bridge and crossing this four-lane bridge on an eight-lane highway creates a bottle neck during peak hours

Commuters take more than 30 minutes to cross the bridge

Widening the bridge will resolve the peak hour congestion providing a relief to people in Thane, Navi Mumbai and Mumbai.

The delay

The widening of the Kopri Bridge was first proposed 12 years ago when the cost of widening was merely Rs9crore and the delay has now escalated it to Rs259crore

The widening work will be undertaken in two phases: in the first phase, the existing two lane bridge will not be touched and two new lanes will be constructed on either side of this bridge. The vehicular movement will continue from the existing bridge. This phase will be completed in 18 months.

In the second phase, the newly-constructed four lanes will be opened for traffic and MMRDA will demolish the existing two lane bridge to construct a new one in level with the other four lanes. This phase will also be completed in 18 months.

The 65-m stretch on this around a km-long-bridge goes from above the track and will be constructed by the railway authorities.