Even as the citys development authority had expected to complete the entire Eastern Freeway to provide an uninterrupted journey from south Mumbai to Ghatkopar in 2013,a few unforeseen obstacles have caused the second phase of the showpiece project to be delayed.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) had earlier expected to commission the Panjarpol-Ghatkopar Link Road,the second phase of the project,by December this year. However,the development authority is now likely to open the elevated road only in May 2014. Work on the link road is likely to go on till May next year. Now,80 per cent of the work is done,but the 20 per cent that is left is quite challenging. Though we have finished the piling work,putting the pile caps at certain places is still pending, said Ashwini Bhide,additional metropolitan commissioner at MMRDA.
Bhide said that a major transformer and a pumping station of the civic body were coming in the way of the construction towards the Panjarpol side of the elevated road. While the transformer has been recently shifted,the development authority is currently coordinating with the BMC to shift the pumping station too,Bhide added.
Construction work is also lagging behind at the end of the elevated road near the Chembur-Mankhurd Link Road,where MMRDA had faced a major delay in getting full right of way as it was negotiating with the owners of one structure for more than a year. The development authority was able to take possession of the plot earlier this year after the Bombay High Court ordered that MMRDA be allowed to undertake construction there.
The Eastern Freeway is being constructed in three segments and consists of a 9.3-km elevated road from Orange Gate on P DMello Road to Anik near Wadala,a 4.3-km road from Anik to Panjarpol near R K Films & Studios in Chembur and the 2.5-km Panjarpol-Ghatkopar Link Road. In the first phase,MMRDA had commissioned the elevated road to Anik and a major part of the Anik-Panjarpol link road in June. The rest was to be opened for the public in the second phase by December.
The project includes the countrys first set of road tunnels constructed within an urban sprawl. While one of the two tunnels was opened as part of the first phase,the second tunnel will be commissioned in the second phase. The tunnel is complete now. However,the cutting of rock after the tunnel towards the Chembur side is still a problem, Bhide said.