After drawing flak for not opening the new road when Mumbaiites needed it during Monday’s heavy rainfall, the state government has finally decided to inaugurate the Eastern Freeway on Thursday.
Instead of a central Congress leader, the freeway will now be inaugurated by chief minister Prithviraj Chavan.
The state government failed to open the freeway even though the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) completed construction of the freeway on May 31. “The freeway will be inaugurated by the chief minister on Thursday at 3 pm, and it will then be made open to traffic,” said UPS Madan, MMRDA commissioner.
Activists and commuters said they were happy that the government was finally opening the freeway, “It seems the state government has taken this decision fearing negative reaction from people,” said transport expert Jitendra Gupta.
Chembur resident Hitendra Pansare said, “It is necessary to start the freeway soon as it will provide congestion-free travel.”
Motorists will be able to reach Chembur from south Mumbai in just 15 to 20 minutes after the 13.6km stretch of the freeway — from Orange Gate to Panjarpol — will be made open to traffic on Thursday.