Mumbai coastal road work in fast lane, 100m tunneling done
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) completed digging the first 100m for the coastal road tunnel. The work started from the Priyadarshini Park end on January 11 using a tunnel boring machine (TBM).
According to BMC, the tunnelling work is expected to be completed by the end of 2022. It includes two tunnels, taking the total tunnelling to 4.14km. The TBM, named ‘Mawla’, is placed 20m under the ground and will pass through Malabar Hill going up to Girgaum Chowpatty.
A BMC official said, “Once the TBM reaches chowpatty, it will again be placed in the opposite direction for digging the other side of the tunnel.”
The coastal road project measuring around 10km between Princess Street flyover and Worli-end of Bandra-Worli sea link is expected to be ready by July 2023. The tunnelling work has been delayed, owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, which initially delayed the delivery of the TBM from China. Also, the BMC had to tweak its plan to not use Chinese experts for the assembling of the TBM in the backdrop of border tensions between India and China.
According to BMC officials, the coastal road will save 70% travel time and 30% fuel. Post-construction, motorists will be able to reach from Nariman Point to Worli within minutes.
The coastal road project was originally planned between Nariman Point and Kandivli, claiming it will ease traffic for those travelling between north and south Mumbai. However, now there is a question whether there should be a coastal road or a sea link beyond Versova to connect to the suburbs. The state is yet to take a call on it.