Even as the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) has issued tenders for the Peddar Road flyover project, the state’s panel on Mumbai makeover seems to be unhappy with the proposal.
In its meeting held last month, some members of the empowered committee on Mumbai makeover, headed by chief secretary JK Banthia and including prominent citizens and businessmen, protested against the project stating it would inconvenience the commuters and residents during the construction phase.
“The construction of Peddar Road flyover will make driving down south Mumbai a nightmare. There needs to be a rethink on whether we need the project or not,’’ said Narinder Nayar, committee member and chairman of Mumbai First, an initiative of private businessmen to transform Mumbai into a global city.
The members raised objections as the MSRDC presented its alternate traffic plan saying that the short-term solution could solve the traffic woes on this stretch till a more permanent solution, a coastal road or sea link to Nariman Point could be built.
The state’s think-tank —Mumbai Transformation Support Unit (MTSU) — has also submitted a report on the feasibility of an alternate four-lane underpass from Lala Lajpatrai College to a little ahead of Cadbury Junction.
“The three options — an underpass, two shorter viaducts and full-length flyover — that were discussed earlier too were brought up in last month’s meeting. An underpass is cost-effective and can be built soon. The MSRDC, however, has refused to budge from its flyover plan,” said an official who attended the meeting.
The traffic police are yet to grant a no-objection certificate to the proposal. Their opinion will be crucial in the next meeting.
The 4.6 km Peddar Road flyover was planned a decade ago and has been mired in controversy ever since. Earlier, residents of the area such as the Mangeshkar sisters had objected to the construction of a flyover along the road. The state government officials feel that the coastal road and the Mumbai trans-harbour link projects could help reduce the traffic towards south Mumbai and hence the flyover is not required.