Metropolitan Commissioner Rahul Asthana said on Sunday that he expected the Eastern Freeway project to be completed by December this year. He had visited the entire stretch of the project including the Anik-Panjarpol and Panjarpol-Ghatkopar Link Roads on Saturday.
The Eastern Freeway was necessitated after the city of Mumbai began experiencing phenomenal growth in population,which was 11.9 million in 2001 and is expected to touch 14 million in 2016, Asthana said.
The Eastern Freeway project is divided into three parts a 9.3-km corridor from P DMello Road to the beginning of Anik-Panjarpol Link Road (expected to cost Rs 531 crore) ,a five-km corridor from Anik to the beginning of Panjarpol-Ghatkopar Link Road (Rs 148 crore) and the 2.5-km Panjarpol-Ghatkopar corridor (Rs 168 crore). The 16.8-km freeway is expected to cost Rs 847 crore in all.
The elevated road will provide faster connectivity among city,suburbs and the main land. The public transport and intercity buses towards Pune,Goa and Bangalore will be able to use the Eastern freeway and MTHL to avoid the congested road network of Mumbai and Navi Mumbai and save at least an hour. The express services of BEST between city and Eastern suburbs,Navi Mumbai will also be able to utilise this crucial link effectively. The link can facilitate goods traffic to the port, said Ashwini Bhide,additional metropolitan commissioner,who accompanied Asthana on the site visit.