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Repairs delayed; expect a bumpy ride on Mumbai’s Eastern Express Highway this monsoon

According to the norms, the planning authority has to receive a minimum of three bids per contract.

mumbai Updated: Feb 28, 2018 12:44 IST
Tanushree Venkatraman
Tanushree Venkatraman
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,eastern express highway,monsoon
According to the norms, the planning authority has to receive a minimum of three bids per contract. (FILE)

Motorists using the Eastern Express Highway (EEH) may be in for a bumpy ride this monsoon. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is expecting to start pre-monsoon repair works on the highway only by April-end instead of the earlier December deadline. Reason: MMRDA got only one bid when it floated tenders.

According to the norms, the planning authority has to receive a minimum of three bids per contract.

The planning authority has now called for bids worth Rs17.02 crore again by mid-March. However, senior officials confirmed the scrutiny and approvals will take another month-and-a-half before the actual work begins. A senior official said, “We will try to complete as much work as possible before the monsoon and take up the rest of the work after October.”

In 2017, the MMRDA had scrapped the contracts for repairs on the eastern and western express highways after their four attempts to get contractors failed.

Since the past two monsoons, the 23.5-km eastern express highway, which stretches from Mulund toll naka to Sion, has been riddled with potholes. Lakhs of commuters use this arterial highway daily. The situation could worsen this year, as the planning authority is also looking to barricade parts of the highway for construction of Metro-4 (Wadala-Thane-Kasarvadali) corridor. The public works department is also undertaking the construction of a new flyover at Amar Mahal.

On the eastern express highway, the MMRDA has identified bad patches which will be resurfaced again to prevent the occurrence of potholes, officials said. The MMRDA was given the responsibility of the two roads in May last year. It is also in the process of undertaking repairs on 11 foot overbridges on the highway.

Mihir Palan, a media professional who commutes between Mulund and Lower Parel, said the authorities should have considered the scenario and undertaken repairs earlier. “The highway is already clogged at Amar Mahal, then Airoli junction and also at the entry from Thane. What is the plan B if Metro works start? All this should have been thought of earlier.”

First Published: Feb 28, 2018 09:56 IST