Almost 10 years after it was first mooted, a second public hearing to discuss the environmental implications of the contentious Peddar Road flyover – the longest proposed in Mumbai – will take place on Monday. With the upcoming Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation elections, a strongly mounted opposition by the public to the project may further delay the flyover, which was planned to ease the commute towards south Mumbai.
The public hearing will be held by the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) at the Indian Engineer’s Hall at Mahalaxmi, and will hear the environment concerns put forth by residents.
If the project gets the nod, the MPCB will send it to the environment ministry, which will then consider if it should get the go-ahead. The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), said if the go-ahead is received it will will complete the project in 16-months.
However, if citizen groups are adamant and oppose the project, sources indicate that it is unlikely the government would risk antagonising the residents of one of the richest suburbs of the city with the civic elections scheduled for early 2012.
The state government has kept the project in abeyance for close to a decade after residents, including singer Lata Mangeshkar protested against its construction claiming it will harm the environment and create pollution.
The Peddar Road Residents’ Association (PRRA) claims that the flyover plan is not feasible as it would cause massive traffic gridlocks and had asked the government to explore other options.
The state government has kept the project in abeyance for close to a decade after citizens opposed it.