Khar Elevated Road Plan: Amid Uproar, BMC Relents For Now

Khar Elevated Road Plan: Amid Uproar, BMC Relents For Now

Civic body puts on hold Rs2,400 crore project; locals objected to tweak in original plan, saying it will lead to traffic chaos.

SHEFALI PARAB-PANDITUpdated: Saturday, May 11, 2024, 12:59 AM IST
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Khar Subway | FPJ

Mumbai: After stiff opposition from the citizens, the BMC, for now, has put on hold the proposed Rs 2,400 crore elevated east-west connector over the Khar subway. The officials have found that some objections raised by the citizens are valid. Hence, a final decision will be taken after verifying the concerns, said a senior civic official.

The bridge department has also sent a proposal to civic chief Bhushan Gagrani, informing him about the citizens' demand to cancel the tender. Gagrani said, “We have not cancelled the tender yet. However, considering the strong feelings of the local residents, we have held it back till we reach some solution.”

In the initial stage, the proposal was to build an elevated road in two phases. The first phase involved connecting the Khar subway in the west to Bandra Terminus in the east, passing above crowded residential areas. In the second phase, the connectivity would be extended to the Western Express Highway (WEH). However, the BMC tweaked the original plan, proposing that the project will connect to a narrow road in Santacruz East, instead of going to the WEH, claimed the locals. If the plan materialises, it will lead to traffic chaos, among other issues, they asserted.

Citizens Unite Against Altered Blueprint, Seek Alternative Solutions For Improved Connectivity In Khar

Although the citizens vehemently opposed the altered blueprint, the BMC went ahead and invited a tender for the multi-crore project in March. Subsequently, the Santacruz East Residents Association, the Mumbai North Central District Forum (MNCDF) and a collective representing the Khar-Santacruz West residents formally communicated their objections to the municipal commissioner and the bridges department. A citizens' delegation from Santacruz and Khar met Bandra West MLA Ashish Shelar and discussed the issue on April 27. The matter was then raised with Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and his deputy Devendra Fadnavis. Consequently, the civic authorities were instructed to verify the facts and take a call on the proposal, said a civic source.

The citizens have urged the BMC to explore alternative solutions that prioritise improved connectivity between the east and west sides of Khar. Activist Trivankumar Karnani, MNCDF founder said, “If the flawed design is not scrapped, we will move the Bombay High Court under writ/public interest litigation jurisdiction to seek appropriate reliefs as the blueprint is affecting a cluster of over one lakh residents living on the east side.”

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