Mumbai Coastal Road Opening Delayed: Opposition Accuses Government Of Election Ploy Ahead Of Vidhan Sabha Polls

Mumbai Coastal Road Opening Delayed: Opposition Accuses Government Of Election Ploy Ahead Of Vidhan Sabha Polls

The long-awaited and much-debated Mumbai Coastal Road Project has encountered yet another setback, with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) announcing a revised timeline for the complete opening of the road.

RUCHA KANOLKARUpdated: Friday, May 31, 2024, 01:10 AM IST
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Mumbai Coastal Road Project |

Mumbai: The long-awaited and much-debated Mumbai Coastal Road Project has encountered yet another setback, with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) announcing a revised timeline for the complete opening of the road. While a portion of the northbound lane is slated to become operational by June 10, commuters will have to exercise patience until October 2024 to traverse the entire stretch from Marine Drive to Worli.

The project, originally scheduled for completion in 2022, has been marred by controversies and delays, with the latest development adding to the woes of Mumbaikars eagerly anticipating the road's unveiling. Initially, there were expectations that the full Phase 2 of the project would be open within 10 days, following the Chief Minister's announcement of opening another lane by June 10. However, BMC officials have since clarified that only the tunnel segment starting from Marine Drive to Haji Ali will be accessible to traffic next month.

Citing labor shortages and impending monsoon conditions as contributing factors, a BMC official involved with the Coastal Road Project elaborated, "Approximately 20% of the labor force, comprising 6,500 workers, have returned to their native places due to the summer vacation, resulting in a labor crunch. Additionally, the upcoming monsoon season will prevent the laying of bitumen, a critical component in road construction, as it requires dry weather conditions."

The official further stated, "Our plan is to open the northbound stretch of the road from Marine Drive to Haji Ali by June 10. Thereafter, work will continue on the remaining section up to Worli by October 2024." Opposition leaders argue that the government is intentionally postponing the project to gain publicity ahead of the Assembly elections in October.

MP Arvind Sawant said, "The Maharashtra Government seems hellbent on inaugurating the Coastal Road Project in piecemeal fashion, this time unveiling only the Marine Drive to Haji Ali Tunnel stretch. The burning question is: Why not launch the entire project at once? Echoing the Prime Minister's premature inauguration of the half-finished road, the Chief Minister brazenly announced another opening mere days after leakages were detected in the new tunnel, misleading people into thinking the entire Phase 2 would open within 10 days. However, the authorities are conveniently delaying full operationalization until October 2024, ostensibly reserving the grand inauguration for the Vidhan Sabha Elections, exploiting Uddhav Thackeray's dream project for political gain. If Mumbaikars cannot reap the complete benefits, what is the point of this much-touted infrastructure, aside from serving as a stage for electoral theatrics?"

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