Constructing a tunnel road that passed through the city’s green lung, Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP), for the Goregaon-Mulund Link Road (GMLR) project, may increase the project cost to more than double the initial estimated cost.
Last year, the consultant appointed to study the best possible way for the 16-km GMLR had estimated the cost to be Rs1,300 crore. The initial plan was to construct an elevated road through Aarey Road to Saki Vihar and then connect it to Mulund.
However, since the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to construct a tunnel, the cost is expected to rise.
A source from BMC said, “Now, it may go up to more than Rs2,500 crore for the whole project. However, the exact cost will be known after detailed study and analysis of the alignment.”
Another BMC official requesting anonymity said, “The BMC is considering construction of two tube tunnels- a two-lane tube for each direction- which will cost lesser than the combined option. This means two parallel tunnels of 7km each will be constructed.”
For the project, a tunnel boring machine (TBM) will be used, which costs around Rs4 lakh for a square metre according to the current rates. The base and strata of soil will be studied for the project.
The BMC body has now decided to work on the existing GMLR, which was mentioned in city’s development plan (DP) for west to east connectivity many years ago.
According to the new alignment, starting from Oberoi Mall in Goregaon passing through Film City, it will end at Eastern Express Highway via Nahur railway station.
The project, which will be the fourth road to connect west and east, will reduce the travelling time from Goregaon to Mulund to 15-20 minutes. As part of the project, the BMC will widen the road from Oberoi Mall to Film City. It will also widen a 1.5-km stretch from Nahur station to Eastern Express Highway.
A senior civic official requesting anonymity said, “The project will save time, fuel and make the journey smooth. In the long run the project will prove to be economical even though the cost seems high now.”