Public works department minister Chhagan Bhujbal on Friday blamed the ‘elite and rich’ for delaying the Peddar Road flyover between Haji Ali and Wilson College.
Bhujbal was reacting to BJP legislator Mangalprabhat Lodha’s demand for scrapping the fly-over which will ease traffic on the busy road. Lodha, who represents the Peddar Road area in the legislative assembly, said the upcoming sea link would take care of increasing traffic.
The minister ridiculed Lodha’s suggestion. “The sea link (between Haji Ali and Girgaum Chowpatty) requires Rs 3,000 crore to build while the flyover (via duct) will need just Rs 250 cr.”
The minister further said the rich and influential living at Peddar Road didn’t want the flyover whereas the middle-class and the poor had never opposed flyovers in their localities.
The project was first conceptualised 10 years ago. The likes of legendary singers Lata Mangeshkar and her sister Asha Bhosale and a host of other elite families have opposed the project for the reasons like breach of privacy and pollution.
“Some of these flyovers are at a distance from which one can shake hands with the residents in nearby houses. On the other hand, we have taken care (in the Peddar Road design) to keep a safe distance between the flyover and the houses along the road.”
Bhujbal said the promoters, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation, had decided to hold a public hearing for the Peddar Road project despite the fact that no such hearings were held before the other flyovers were built.