Although several clearances are pending, the MSRDC has begun survey for the 11-km-long tunnel that will connect Borivli to Ghodbunder Road
The light at the end of the proposed underground tunnel that will connect Borivli to Ghodbunder Road continues to be bleak. While the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) has finally begun survey work for the 11-km-long tunnel, sources say the way ahead is full of hurdles as procurement of clearances from several authorities is still pending.
MSRDC managing director R Mopalwar said, “The Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) authorities have given us permission to conduct the survey on foot inside the park. We have begun the survey work.” The chief conservator of forest at SGNP, Anwar Ahmed, confirmed this development.
However, the Environment ministry as well as the Defence Ministry and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) are yet to give a go ahead. An official from SGNP said, “The tunnel will drastically reduce the travelling time between Borivli and Ghodbunder Road and will be a huge help for daily commuters on that route. But, it will be a daunting task procuring all the permissions as the tunnel would be constructed below a national park. The ASI needs to give its nod as the Kanheri caves are located nearby. The Defence Ministry needs to allow the project as there are defence installations around the proposed area. Getting permission will not be easy.”
The tunnel, which seeks to improve connectivity between the Western and Easter Express Highways, is MSRDC minister Eknath Shinde’s pet project.