Mumbai's Eastern Freeway set to get north, south extensions
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) plans to extend the north and south points of the Eastern Freeway. It is going to extend the Freeway from Orange Gate up to Mint Colony near CST.
The authority also has plans to extend the Freeway on the north Mumbai end by taking it up to the Eastern Express Highway (EEH) from the current location where it ends between Chheda Nagar and Shivaji Nagar (Chembur).
The extension of the Freeway up to EEH means the traffic bottleneck at Chheda Nagar will be cleared and motorists travelling to CST from the eastern suburbs and Thane will benefit.
MMRDA will also be extending the Freeway by 1.5 km on the south side from Orange Gate up to Mint Colony near CST. This will help reduce traffic on P D’Mello Road. At present, the Freeway ends on P D’Mello Road near Orange Gate.
The extension of the Freeway on the north and south ends will help in providing fast connectivity between south and north Mumbai. The viaduct or the flyover that will be constructed on the south end will also have space for railway tracks, as Central Railway has plans to shift the Harbour line from the west of CST to the eastern side, going parallel along P D’Mello Road.
The extension of the Freeway on the north end will provide uninterrupted connectivity to the EEH from CST. At present, the Freeway ends near Jeejabai Bhosle Marg between Chheda Nagar and Shivaji Nagar. Motorists travelling via the Freeway who want to go towards Thane have to travel via the busy Chheda Nagar junction and then take the EEH.
The extension of the freeway up to EEH will help motorists avoid traffic jams at Chheda Nagar. A senior MMRDA official told mid-day, “We will be extending the Freeway on the south as well as north end and this will help in providing motorists a faster journey.
For the extension of the Freeway up to EEH, we will have to do resettlement and rehabilitation of the people staying in slums on the north-bound end of the Freeway. Regarding the same, we had a meeting with the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) and we will expedite the process soon.”
There’s also a mangrove patch at the end of the north stretch of the Freeway, which may become a roadblock for the project. When questioned about the same, the MMRDA official said, “We know there is a mangrove path over there, but I don’t think we will face difficulty in getting permission from the MoEF (Ministry of Environment and Forests), because we will construct on stilts the Freeway portion passing through this section.”
Need for speed
The 16.4-km Eastern Freeway is divided into three phases:
1) Orange Gate to Anik junction (9.3 km)
2) Anik Junction to Panjarpol Link Road (4.3 km)
3) Panjarpol to Ghatkopar-Mankhurd Link Road (2.8 km)