After being shut for over two months, the Mumbra bypass finally opened to public on Monday. However, in a bid to take credit for the completion of the repair work of the bypass, political parties staged not one but two inauguration ceremonies.
While the traffic department along with PWD officials, who worked on the bridge, invited the Guardian Minister, Eknath Shinde, to inaugurate the bypass, NCP MLA Jitendra Awhad from Mumbra-Kalwa region organised a ceremony late on Sunday night.
“Monday was a Bharat bandh and it could have affected the inauguration programme. The need of the hour was that the bridge be made available for the general public. Thus, I spoke to Chandrakant Patil, whom I had invited. When he confirmed that he won’t be able to make it due to the bandh, I decided to complete the ceremony before the bandh started,” he said, adding that the bypass has been open since midnight on Sunday.
However, on Monday morning, Eknath Shinde reached the spot and inaugurated the bypass and threw the road open to general public. Shinde said: “We had promised to get the bypass running by September 10. We have inaugurated the road today.”
“It was a big show with a lot of fanfare. However, we have been using the road since late night,” said Anjan Mali, a truck driver.
While the road was made open to public use, twice within 12 hours, some patches of the road, especially prone to landslides, are yet to be completed. “There are some patches that need to be finished and some railings need to be put. But more or less, the road is open for public use. It will decrease the traffic in Thane and nearby areas by almost 40 to 50 per cent,” said Amit Kale, Thane DCP (traffic).