After a decade of flip-flopping on the Peddar Road flyover project, the state government has now given a new twist to the saga, asking the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) to look into other options.
The Peddar Road flyover, ever since it was mooted in 2000, has faced vehement opposition from local residents. Among the residents was singer Lata Mangeshkar, who said she would move out of the city if the flyover was built. The project also ran into environmental roadblocks and a row over its design.
The environment ministry had also put a spanner in the construction work of the flyover as a part of it came under the Coastal Regulatory Zone.
The government itself has been changing its stand on the project. Following opposition from residents, it was put in cold storage till 2006, when it was revived. The plans received a setback in 2008 due to environmental rules. In 2010, the MSRDC changed its design. Following this, the state environment authority cleared the plan and referred it to the Centre for approval. The Centre asked the state to conduct a public hearing, but now the state is again doing rethink on the matter. It has asked the MSRDC to consider building a smaller flyover (or car-deck) that could be built in less time and at a much lesser cost.
Meanwhile, experts don’t think the government is moving in the right direction on the Peddar Road flyover project. “The government is not choosing the right options to ease traffic congestion in Mumbai. Instead of making proposals to promote public transport, it is choosing between two wrong choices, which will make the traffic scenario worse,” transport expert Ashok Datar said.