Mumbaities suffering through traffic snarls on the Thane-Belapur road may finally have reason to cheer. After a series of meetings between the City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra Ltd (CIDCO) and Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA), CIDCO officials claim they will finally get clearance to construct a 1.05 km-long bridge near Ghansoli, which will complete the second part of the Palm Beach Road.
The 21 km-long Palm Beach road, divided into two parts — one from Belapur to Koparkhairane and the other from Koparkhairane to Thane — was constructed in 2009 to check traffic congestion on the Sion-Panvel highway and Thane-Belapur road. However, congestion continues on Thane-Belapur road as the portion of Palm Beach road on the stretch parallel to it has not been operational in the absence of the bridge at Ghansoli. The construction of the bridge could commence as the mangroves in the area where the bridge is supposed to be built, come under Coastal Regulation Zone II. CIDCO had not got clearance from the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) for the construction of the bridge.
CIDCO has been following the matter with MCZMA since 2010 and officials now claim that it is likely to receive clearance in the next few days. N S Pitale, additional chief engineer of rail project (CIDCO) said, “We have held a few meetings with MCZMA in the past week to get clearance for the construction of the bridge. The talks are at a crucial stage and we expect the clearance to be given by soon. Once we receive the clearance, we will start construction.”
It will take around two years for the construction of the long bridge, on which CIDCO is expected to incur expenses of Rs 35 crore. Once the bridge is constructed, a major chunk of the traffic flow on the Thane-Belapur route will be shifted to Palm Beach road and the time required to reach Thane is expected to be shortened by around 15 minutes.