MMRDA Joint Project Director Dilip Kawatkar said, “The first two girders, which are 51 metres long and weigh 140 tonnes, were placed in the wee hours of Thursday, over the Central Railway lines between Kurla and Vidyavihar. This will connect Santacruz and Chembur.”
It should be noted that due to pending permissions from Central Railway, the completion work of the crucial SCLR project was delayed. The permission to launch the girders has come as a relief to the MMRDA and MSRDC authorities.
“The railways have handed over a 21-day schedule to us, offering three-hour blocks every night. With all permissions and blocks in hand, the crucial SCLR is now expected to be ready by March 2014,” added Kawatkar.
The SCLR has already missed 11 deadlines since the World Bank-funded project’s inception in 2003. In 2010, Roberto Zagha, the India head of World Bank, had called it the “world’s most delayed road project.” As per the initial plan, the groundwork for the road was to start in September 2003, but it only began in 2007.
MiD DAY too had reported on how the project cost had increased from an estimated Rs 114.8 crore to Rs 428 crore due to the delay. However, the good news is that the motorists will be able to use this road by March next year. SCLR is the city’s second east-west connector.