The Mumbai Transformation Support Unit (MTSU), a state government-think tank, has recommended a fresh design to ease traffic at the Haji Ali junction and on Peddar road, an arterial north-south connector.
The plan has been conceived in place of the decade-old proposal for a viaduct over Peddar Road, which has been stalled due to a delay in getting environment clearance and vociferous protests by the residents along the alignment.
The MTSU zeroed in on the design on July 9 in a meeting of the chief secretary-led empowered committee, comprising senior officials Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the traffic police. The committee also includes members from the private sector.
Qaiser Khalid, additional commissioner of police (traffic), who had attended the meeting, said the architect appointed by the MTSU had proposed a plan for two south-bound flyovers with two lanes each, starting from the Lala Lajpatrai College at the Keshvrao Khade Road opposite Haji Ali.
Two arms of the first flyover would be landing on Peddar Road and Breach Candy Road, while the remaining two arms of the second flyover would be landing at the Tardeo junction, Khalid said. The north-bound flyover will stretch from Doctor House towards the Lala Lajpatrai College.
The officers said that heavy vehicles would have to use the road under the flyovers, which would ease traffic congestion, while motorists can zip through the viaduct. Khalid said the one arm of the flyover on Peddar Road will have an exit at the Jaslok Hospital for ambulances.
S M Ramchandani, joint managing director of MSRDC, confirmed that the plan was under consideration. “This has been discussed in the most recent meeting. However, there has been no final decision yet,” he said.
The officials were also considering a double-decker flyover, but dismissed the idea due to the long period of construction involved. The original plan was to have a single 4.1-km flyover to begin at the north side of the Haji Ali junction and end near Wilson College at Girgaum chowpatty.
The project to ease congestion of Haji Ali junction was conceived in 2006. However, it was stalled due to the opposition by local residents, including singer Lata Mangeshkar.
Khalid said they had decided to go ahead with the plan. However, they would now be looking at the commuter traffic density and other details. “More than one lakh vehicles pass through the Peddar Road in peak hours. These flyovers will solve more than 70 per cent of the congestion created at the Haji Ali junction,” said Khalid.
Apart from these flyovers, the committee also discussed a tunnel proposed to be built from Malabar Hill to Tambe Road, which would make a viable passage for commuters travelling from Napean Sea Road to Peddar Road as traffic on Warden Road is not heavy owing to many residential buildings there.