MMRDA begins work of Airoli-Kalyan freeway

Reynold D'saUpdated: Thursday, May 30, 2019, 11:45 AM IST
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Mumbai: Four years after it was proposed, the project for constructing a freeway from Airoli to Katai Naka (near Kalyan) is finally being implemented by Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).

This freeway would benefit commuters coming from Mumbai and heading to Kalyan and Badlapur industrial estate. The commuters coming from Nashik, Gujarat and Thane city will have a direct link to this freeway after it is constructed.

The junction free route from Airoli to Katai Naka will be 12.3 km after the completion of the project. The estimated cost of constructing the freeway is Rs 944 crore.

The project includes construction of three lanes each for up and down traffic. The project is being executed in three phases. A consultant named STUP was appointed by MMRDA in 2012 to prepare the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the project and it was submitted in 2014.

The first phase of the project includes a link between Thane-Belapur road and National Highway (NH)-4 near Mumbra bypass, the distance of which is around 11.8 km at present.

The stretch includes 3.5km of NH4 and a tunnel cutting through Parsik Hill of 1.7km towards the end of NH4. The plan is to construct ramps (sloping surface) at both the ends of NH4 and Thane-Belapur road to connect each other after elevating the tunnel for better alignment.

The tenders have been floated for the first phase of the project. Once the project is executed, the stretch between Thane-Belapur road and NH-4 will be reduced to 4km.

An MMRDA official said, “With the link between Thane-Belapur road and NH-4, commuters will be able to cut down their travel time by half an hour. At present the commuters need to take a detour by travelling to Mahape and Shilpata areas to reach NH-4 near Mumbra bypass. The project will help decongest the heavy traffic presence on Thane-Belapur Road. The commuters coming from Thane and Mumbai can directly reach NH-4 near Mumbra bypass once the link-road is thrown open for public use.”

Currently, the process for land acquisition from Bharat Bijlee and Seimens who own the land near Thane-Belapur road, which has been given on lease by MIDC is under process.

“Once the land is acquired from them, the construction of the first phase would start in next three months period. The total construction period for the first phase is 40 months,” added the official.

In the second phase, an elevated road will be constructed towards the end of Airoli Bridge which will consist of 2.2km. This road will then connect Thane-Belapur road. This elevated road will run perpendicular to the existing Thane- Belapur railway line.

“Due to presence of Thane creek which falls under the project area, the environmental clearance is under process from Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF),” added the official.

In the third phase, a road of 6.3km will be constructed from NH-4 and Katai Naka that will run perpendicular to Diva-Panvel railway line.

“A similar environmental clearance is required from MoEF since the third phase of the project also falls in a Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) area,” said the official.

The freeway from Airoli to Katai Naka is also likely to act as a feeder network for the Virar-Alibaug Multi-Modal corridor project.

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