Though the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) is awaiting clearance from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) to construct the Peddar Road flyover, the actual construction work would commence only after the MSRDC secures an no-objection certificate (NoC) from the traffic police department.
When contacted, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Vivek Phansalkar said, “At present, I can’t comment on the issue.” Sources said the traffic police department has already informed the MSRDC that unless an alternate route is not finalised beforehand, the NoC for starting construction work would not be issued.
An MSRDC official said, “We are yet to receive final clearance from the MoEF. But the actual work will only start once the traffic department issues us an NoC.” Another official said starting the construction work would be a difficult task, as it needs to be executed in a populated area.
“Authorities will have to take extra precautions. Once Peddar Road is closed, locals will face commuting issues. The secondary challenge will be managing traffic on diverted routes.” Once closed, motorists using Peddar Road to reach south Mumbai would be required to use Warden Road-Napean Sea Road. It should be noted that traffic moves at a snail’s pace on the road during morning and evening peak hours currently, and the scenario will only get uglier once construction work begins.
The MSRDC has plans to construct a 4.3-km-long flyover, connecting Haji Ali Junction with Girgaum Chowpatty via the arterial Peddar Road. The project was planned more than a decade ago, but till date it has not seen the light of day because it has been marred with numerous problems, including opposition from the locals.
A public hearing regarding the project was organised by the MSRDC last July to reach a consensus. However, it was called off after the groups supporting (political parties) and opposing (locals) the project entered a verbal duel during the hearing.