MMRDA may finish tunnel before time!

Sep 16, 2011, 08:24 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav

Authority says it will open one tube of the twin tunnel on Anik-Panjarpol Link Road by March next year, instead of June -- giving commuters from CST to Chembur something to look forward to

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority, in a break with an unbending ritual, said that one of its projects would be opened to the public, not after, but well before the deadline!
One half of the twin tunnel on Anik-Panjarpoli Link Road (APLR) will be thrown open to the public three months before June 2012, the expected date of completion.  By March next year, motorists will be able to drive through half a km in the left tube of the tunnel from Anik in Wadala to Panjarpol in Chembur.

Dual wonder: The project is the first of its kind in the country, where the
twin tunnels are within city limits. (Inset) Workers oversee the construction
at the site

The historic feat was achieved after MMRDA increased the pace of the work, so it can be completed as soon as possible.

MMRDA Joint Project Director Dilip Kawatkar said, "During monsoon, the pace of the work inside the tunnels was slow. Now we have sped it up, and more than 72 per cent of the work is over. Motorists will be able to use the tunnel and the APLR project by March 2012."

Being the country's first and only twin tunnel built within city limits, it is hoped that it will serve as a magnet for tourists in the Mumbai metropolitan region. Starting at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre hill, it ends at Gautam Nagar near Panjarpol.

Both the passageways in the tunnel are 500 m in length.

The challenging infrastructure project is being built by contractor Madhucon Projects Pvt Ltd, as part of the ambitious APLR project (see box). More than 5 lakh cubic metres of earth was excavated due to the digging activity for the tunnel, and the contractor has reused more than 70 per cent of the rock for the construction.

Earlier, the MMRDA was confident of completing one of the tunnels by October, but the completion date has been extended, as the work inside the tunnel needs to be carried out carefully. Now the authority has given instructions to the contractors that they should aim at completing one of the tunnels by March. And according to sources, the other tunnel will be opened in June or July.

All about APLR
The APLR project is being built at a cost of Rs 210 crore and is, in turn, part of the Eastern Freeway Project (EFP), which will provide a new 22-km road from Chhatrapati Shivaji Vastu Sangrahalaya in south Mumbai to Ghatkopar. Once completed the entire stretch will be helpful for commuters travelling between Chembur and CST.
The EFP, being built at a cost of Rs 531 crore, is divided into three parts. The first is an elevated road of about 11 km from Chhatrapati Shivaji museum up to Anik. The second is the Anik-Panjarpol Link Road (APLR), which takes the freeway up to Panjrapol Junction. The tunnels are a part of this stretch. The final part is Panjarpol-Ghatkopar Link Road, which connects the freeway to the Eastern Express Highway.

it's a twin
MMRDA has completed the construction of more than 350 m of the left tube (Anik-to-Panjarpol) of the tunnel, and more than 250 m of the right tube (Panjarpol-to-Anik).
Each of the tunnels is 18 m in width and 10 m in height and will have four lanes each for a distance of 500 m.

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