The Bombay high court on Thursday allowed the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) to go ahead with two major projects — an elevated corridor along with low-level bridge on Mahul creek, and a new, 18-metre wide bridge on Morva creek.
The bridge over Mahul creek is part of the Eastern Freeway project, which will help link Mankhurd directly to south Mumbai. The project is expected to cut travel time between the two ends of the city to half. It will also reduce traffic congestion in the Chembur-Sion area. The proposed bridge on Morva creek is part of an important link connecting Manor, Gorai, Pali and Uttan to developed areas such as Mira-Bhyandar and western suburbs.
MMRDA had approached the high court for permission to go ahead with the two bridges as the areas of work include patches of mangroves. In October 2006, acting on a public interest litigation filed by Bombay Environment Action Group (BEAG), the court directed the state government to prepare a detailed map of mangrove areas across the state and also imposed a complete freeze on destruction and cutting on mangroves. In January 2010, acting on the same PIL, the court prohibited any “non-forest activity” in mangrove areas without permission from competent authorities.
The bridge on Morva creek forms part of the Kashimira-Bhyandar-Gorai-Manor road, which has been undertaken by MMRDA as part of a wider project to improve basic infrastructure in the Mumbai metropolitan region. The Morva creek currently has a seven-metre wide dilapidated bridge, which routinely causes traffic congestion in the area, even though the road at both ends has been widened. To resolve this issue, the civic agency decided to construct a wider bridge on the creek.
The elevated corridor and low-level bridge on the Mahul creek is part of the Eastern Freeway project undertaken by MMRDA. The 16.94-km long freeway is a crucial infrastructure project for the city as it will link Mankhurd directly to south Mumbai. It will connect the city port with Navi Mumbai on the mainland, and the Eastern Express Highway.