Mumbai News: One Lane Of Worli-Marine Drive Coastal Road Project Likely To Be Inaugurated On Saturday, March 9 By CM Eknath Shinde

Mumbai News: One Lane Of Worli-Marine Drive Coastal Road Project Likely To Be Inaugurated On Saturday, March 9 By CM Eknath Shinde

It remains to be seen whether the inauguration will be done by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde or virtually by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

S BalakrishnanUpdated: Thursday, March 07, 2024, 08:48 PM IST
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Vijay Gohil

The first phase of the ambitious coastal road project of the BMC will be inaugurated Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Saturday March 9 at 4 am. On Wednesday, the Free Press Journal took a 'dekho' of the world-class project which is the BMC's latest gift to the metropolis. The 10.5 km Phase One which starts near the Worli-Bandra sea link and ends near Princess Street flyover is an engineering marvel building at a cost of over Rs 12,000 cr. Phase Two of the project which will take motorists from Princess Street flyover to the Worli-Bandra sealink is expected to be ready by June, 2024. A civic body which is unable to provide pothole-free roads to its citizens has sprung a big surprise by coming up with a project which will make its citizenry very proud,

As our vehicle went below the canopy which partially covers the coastal road named after Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj it was enveloped by bright lights radiating from the high ceiling. The road is fully cement concrete and one can drive between 60 kmph and 80 kmph. It goes underground several metres below the sands of Chowpatty and Malabar Hill. Civic engineers said it will take only eight minutes from Worli to Princess Street.

The toll-free road had dedicated lanes for buses to ward off criticism that the fancy infra projects are aimed at benefiting only motorists. Sources in the traffic police said the bulk of the vehicle load from Dr Annie Besant Road, Peddar Road, Warden Road etc is expected to reduce once the project is commissioned. The foundation stone was laid in December 2018 and work started briskly. But the pandemic badly hit the project. Vijay Zore, a BMC engineer, who was working on the project from day one, said, "The BMC team has worked hard to realise this dream. We can say with confidence that this project is on par with similar projects in the West. It is expected to revolutionise road travel in the city in a big way."

Vijay Gohil

A highlight is the 2.07-km-long twin tunnels originating in Girgaum and going several metres below the sea. The project boasts to be the country's first undersea tunnel.

It also includes 10 bus bays, three underground parking lots accommodating 1,800 cars, and 16 pedestrian underpasses for enhanced connectivity.

Vijay Gohil

Safety has been given top priority with provision for dealing with emergencies. Scanner machines will detect explosives and a control room will keep a close watch on all vehicles. The walls are layered with special panels which can withstand temperatures up to 1,200°C. Several private infra companies, including L&T are associated with the project. BMC staff are keeping their fingers crossed hoping that Mumbai motorists, now notorious for traffic rule violations, will maintain driving discipline and of course not spit paan.

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