The third stage of the six-lane Thane-Belapur concrete highway project is almost ready.
The 13.8-km highway, interspersed with flyovers and foot over-bridges, and built at a cost of Rs 111 crore, is claimed to be the only toll-free highway in India.
The highway was to be formally inaugurated on Sunday by Central minister Sharad Pawar — the opening was cancelled in view of the lives lost in the terror attack in Pune on Saturday.
While the road itself was completed a few months ago, work on the flyovers was on. Now, barring the Airoli flyover, where bits of finishing work is on, the other flyovers at Ghansoli and Koparkhairane are already in use.
Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation City Engineer Mohan Dagaonkar said: “This road compares with the best in the country. We have taken into consideration the volume of traffic, as well as the needs of pedestrians coming from railway stations and the industrial units along the route.”
Standing Committee Chairman and MLA Sandeep Naik said: “It’s been worth the long wait. The journey, which earlier took over an hour on the potholed surface, has been cut to 20-25 minutes of smooth, safe driving.”
Naik said with the highway’s twin-directional streetlights, green cover, flyovers and foot over-bridges at crossings, and the belt of corporate buildings along the highway, the drive would now resemble a commute in a foreign country.
Also, state minister Ganesh Naik has made assurances that no toll will be levied on the Thane-Belapur road. Naik said: “We do not want to burden people with one more expense. We have decided not to levy any toll on this highway, making it probably the only toll-free highway in the country.”