Railway corridors in way of extension work of Mumbai’s Eastern Freeway
MMRDA officials say project is not shelved, but they are waiting for Railways to finalise alignments for its own projectsmumbai Updated: Dec 26, 2017 16:43 IST
You might not have to get stuck at the PD’Mello Road every time you take the Eastern Freeway in the future. After keeping the expansion of the 16.4km highway in cold storage, the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) has said it is only waiting for the railways to finalise the alignment for its CST-Kurla and CST-Panvel corridors.
Once the railways finalises the alignments, work on extending the freeway from Orange Gate (where the freeway ends currently) to Mint Road will begin. UPS Madan, metropolitan commissioner, MMRDA said, “Public transport is a priority. Once the railways has finalised the alignment for the CST-Kurla and CST-Panvel corridors, we will accommodate the alignment for the extension. The plan is not shelved, we are just waiting for the alignments to be finalised.”
On the northern side, MMRDA plans to extend the freeway by 3 km and connect it to the Eastern Express Highway (EEH). This will involve rehabilitation of the slum pockets at Ramabai Nagar. A senior official from MMRDA said, “A private builder is undertaking the rehabilitation of the slum pockets. Meanwhile, we will also get environmental clearances as mangroves will be affected owing to the extension.”
The Eastern Freeway has been a huge benefit for motorists as it has made north-south connectivity easier in the city.
Recently, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) also suggested that the Eastern Freeway be extended till the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya and then till Metro cinema via Crawford market. In its report tabled to the state legislature, the committee pointed out that the bottlenecks created at the start and end of the freeway will be resolved if the highway is extended till the Prince of Wales museum or the general post office. The PAC is a statutory body that ensures action on the strictures and objections raised by the Comptroller and Auditor General.
According to the original plan made in 1962, the freeway was to start at the Eastern Express Highway and end near the Prince of Wales museum.
But the problems arising out of the non-availability of land, mangroves and slums in Ramabai Ambedkar Nagar forced MMRDA to start the 16.4-km freeway at the Ghatkopar-Mankhurd Link Road (GMLR) and end it at Orange Gate.