Kapurbawdi flyover inaugurated, commuters jubilant

November 20, 2013

Manoj Badgeri, TNN |

THANE: Commuters using the newly-inaugurated arm of the Kapurbawdi flyover expressed their delight after travelling on it. The journey that used to initially take almost 30 minutes, now gets done within a minutes.”I live in Waghbil and earlier it used to take me a lot of time travelling from Majiwada till my place. It was a great experience plying on this stretch,” said Jayesh Mane, a motorist.

However, there were some motorists who continued to use the road below as they were unaware that the flyover was finally open to the public. This resulted in a major jam on Tuesday evening.

”We didn’t know that the flyover was open for commuters. It was only after we reached the end of the road that we noticed vehicles zipping down from the flyover. We will have to wait till tomorrow to experience driving on the flyover,” said a couple who were driving to their home at Manpada.

Lack of boards informing motorists about the opening of the flyover may be one of the reason why many took the road beneath. ”Several vehicles were still using the roads underneath the flyover, leading to traffic jam. We have asked the MSRDC to install boards informing motorists that the flyover has been thrown open for traffic,” said a traffic cop manning the junction.

Even though residents were excited about the opening of one arm, they are still awaiting the completion of the entire flyover. ”Once the work on the entire flyover is completed it will be a smooth ride for motorists. Since Monday, there has been less traffic snarls on this stretch. We hope the entire flyover is open soon,” said Ramakant Rane, who lives at Majiwada junction.

Earlier the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) had stated that the entire flyover will be completed by March 2014. But now sources within the organization have claimed that it could take longer as work on the Ghodbunder Road-Mumbai arm may take more time as the officials are still awaiting an approval from the National Highways Authority of Indian (NHAI) for the construction on the Nashik highway.

Though, commuting agony may have eased by 40% at Majiwada now after opening up of one arm of the Kapurbawdi flyover, complete relief for Thane motorists is most likely to be a distant dream. Despite tall claims by the MSRDC to complete the entire flyover network by March 2014, sources within the organization inform that a vital stretch on the GB road-Mumbai arm will possibly delay the project as key approval from the NHAI for construction on the Nashik highway is still expected.

The implementing agency is in the line of fire of both the residents and elected representatives for the inordinate delay in completing the Rs 197 crore worth flyover network. The agency has missed several deadlines in the past with the latest being in June this year and every time it has cited some excuse or blamed other agencies for the delay. Though the Mumbai-Ghodbunder arm is ready, snarls may continue underneath the flyover for motorists, said traffic officials. “A notable volume of traffic at the junction and heading towards Ghodbunder comes from Mumbai and now that the arm is open for traffic, Mumbai-Ghodbunder-Ahmedabad bound vehicles wont use the junction beneath. We will now be in a better position to divert traffic coming from the city and Nashik towards Ghodbunder,” says a traffic official.

Experts said that the junction will be free of congestions only after the complete flyover is thrown open. Even chief minister Prithviraj Chavan who is known to have an acumen for engineering projects, on Monday during the inauguration, expressed his desire that all the arms of the network were to be completed together.

The bone of contention is the GB road-Mumbai arm that entails a loop design over the Nashik highway and an approval from the NHAI for the same. Activist Chandrahas Tawade who filed a query under the RTI rubbishes the possibility of MSRDC meeting the new deadline and alleges that it hasn’t secured any approval from the NHAI required for erecting pillars on the highway. “They are yet to get approvals for the same and this might easily delay the project,” he laments. Sameer Shah, a motorist on the stretch expressed his angst at the slow pace of the work. “This project will be remembered in the history of Thane for its innumerable deadlines and delays.”

An MSRDC official said official requesting anonymity on Monday confirmed that the agency is yet to get an approval from the NHAI but said they were confident of getting the same in the coming days.


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