Five years after it first asked the Central Railway for permission to build part of its new east-west road corridor across a rail line at Tilak Nagar, Chembur, the state’s infrastructure agency is still waiting for that clearance.
The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) has again asked Central Railway (CR) to issue that clearance quickly — it first asked for it when the Santacruz-Chembur Link Road (SCLR) plan was drawn up in 2004.
“We are pursuing CR on a daily basis for permission to build the section of the SCLR that runs over the Tilak Nagar rail line,” said D. Bankar, executive engineer, MSRDC.
Work on the 3.64-km-long SCLR is well behind schedule — its December 2008 deadline has been pushed to May 2010.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority — tasked with rehabilitating those affected by the SCLR — recently got permission to demolish 13 buildings in the SCLR’s path near the rail tracks at Tilak Nagar. This was a major hurdle before asking for permission to build over the tracks.
“Permissions from the railways are hard to get, and are given over a period of time. Those SCLR pillars that have already been built [in 2007] are getting exposed to the elements, and aging faster than the structure they are meant to support,” said another MSRDC official requesting anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
S. Mudgerikar, chief public relation officer, CR, said: “We will go through their request and try to issue the clearance as soon as possible. But first we need to draw up a schedule for their work, and plan rail blocks that result in minimal disruption of services.”
In April, MSRDC also extended an arm of the SCLR by 1.1 km towards the Eastern Express Highway (EEH). According to the original plan, the SCLR was supposed to end on the EEH at Amar Mahal Junction, but that would have brought SCLR traffic to a standstill at the junction — so an extension flyover has been planned at an additional Rs 59.51 crore. The sum of all the delays so far has resulted in a cost escalation of Rs 242.39 crore.