Pamela Raghunath / Gulf News
Mumbai, Dec 12: With the foundation laid for 16 new flyovers, road users can expect a smooth traffic and signal-free trip on the arterial roads of the north-south corridor in the next 18 months.
Most of the congested junctions in central Mumbai - at Sion Hospital, King's Circle, Hindmata Market, Bharat Mata to Byculla Zoo, Kalachowkie and Lalbaug - will be covered by seven flyovers being built on Ambedkar Road, the main link from Eastern Express Highway (EEH) ending at Sion and winding down to J.J. Flyover.
Other flyovers from Bandra to Dahisar include a crucial one at the domestic airport junction on the Western Express Highway and a flyover and pedestrian-cum-vehicular subway at Suman Nagar on the EEH.
Inaugurating all the 16 projects together at the Santacruz Domestic Airport junction on Sunday, Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh said that the flyovers would contribute immensely towards increasing corridor speeds, reduce traffic congestion and loss of fuel apart from bringing down pollution levels.
The flyovers would also go a long way in faster connectivity to domestic and international airports, he said.
The projects will be carried out by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority at a cost of Rs4.16 billion (Dh347 million) and the work is likely to be completed by June 2008.
The government decided to inaugurate all the flyovers at one go because the paperwork has been completed, said the chief minister, and not because in advance of the civic elections.
Once the State Election Commission announces the date for the elections, expected in early January 2007, the government has to abide by the code of conduct.
With the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) not making any impressive contribution to the city's development, the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party coalition hope to wrest the control of the richest civic body in the country by this massive road development.
The BMC is presently under the control of the Shiv-Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party combine. During its rule in the state, the Sena-BJP constructed 55 flyovers across the city.