Unclogging Navi Mumbai: Two flyovers, underpass on Thane-Belapur road to open in April

In view of the increasing traffic on this road, the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) had asked the MMRDA to develop two flyovers and an underpass

mumbai Updated: Feb 22, 2018 17:18 IST
Pranab Jyoti Bhuyan
Pranab Jyoti Bhuyan
Hindustan Times
Thane-Belapur road,Thane commute,infrastructure
The 15-km-long Thane-Belpaur road, which connects Thane and Navi Mumbai, plays a crucial role in the cities’ businesses and economies.(HT FILE)

Travel via the congested Thane-Belapur road? Good news, the two flyovers and underpass being constructed on the stretch will be opened to the public in the first week of April.

In view of the increasing traffic on this road, the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) had asked the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) to develop a flyover at the Ghansoli-Talavli stretch, another at Savita Chemical junction and an underpass at Mahape junction.

MMRDA had agreed to undertake the projects, which collectively cost Rs155 crore. Following this, work began in March 2015. According to MMRDA officials, around 90% of the work has been completed. The rest will be completed within a month.

“According to the initial plan, MMRDA was supposed to finish construction by March 2017. We have no idea why they could not finish the projects on time,” said a superintendent engineer, NMMC, who did not wish to be identified.

MV Jaitpal, executive engineer, MMRDA, said the projects were delayed as they were unable to divert traffic. “We had planned to divert traffic to a few arterial roads in MIDC. However, these were being concretised during construction. The traffic department thus did not permit us to divert traffic to those roads, which is why we could not meet the deadline,” he said.

He added that work on all three projects was almost complete. “The projects are likely to be inaugurated in the first week of April,” he said. He, however, declined to comment on whether there would be a formal inaugural function attended by state or Union ministers.

The 15-km-long Thane-Belpaur road, which connects Thane and Navi Mumbai, plays a crucial role in the cities’ businesses and economies. The road begins at theSion-Panvel highwaynearTurbhe and ends at Kalwa near Thane.

The stretch between Turbhe andDigha runs parallel to the Suburban Railway’s trans harbour lineand can be used to access the Aroli,Rabale,Ghansoli,Kopar KhairaneandTurbhe stations.

Except for a small stretch at Digha, the road has been widened to six lanes — three in each direction — and fully concretised. Several major industrial parks such asMIDC,Dhirubhai Ambani Knowledge City and Millenium Park are located on this road.

Construction work on the flyovers and the subway has led to cracks surfacing on some stretches of the road, which the NMMC will repair. “The road is still in good shape. We will repair the areas where there are minor issues,” said Ramaswamy N, NMMC commissioner.

Illegal crossing a major problem

Illegal crossing is a major issue on the Thane-Belapur road, with people refusing to use the foot overbridges (FOBs) constructed at various areas, complaining that the process is time consuming.

In 2017, 22 people died and 60 were injured on this road. Over the past decade, around 150 IT parks and other offices have sprung up in Navi Mumbai’s MIDC area, situated near thisroad. According to traffic officials, a majority of those employed there illegallycross theroad to reach their offices.

“More than 10,000 people come to the work here from various parts of Mumbai, Navi Mumbai andThane. They alight at the station and then cross the busy road,” said an official from Rabale traffic unit.

“People hardly use the FOBs to cross theroad. The NMMC constructed an FOB outside the Rabale railway station a few years ago. However, 4,000 people stillcross theroadillegally every day,” he said.

The civic body’s move to put up steel barricades along the dividers to prevent illegal crossing has proved effective. However, there are still several places where there are no barricades. “We recently conducted a survey and submitted the findings to the civic body. We hope they take the measures soon,” said an official from the traffic department.

First Published: Feb 22, 2018 15:46 IST