Additional municipal commissioner SVR Srinivas of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Agency (MMRDA) said work on the bridge over the Central Railway (CR) main line would begin in two days. Srinivas said the SCLR project, which commenced around nine years ago, was expected to be completed by mid-2013.
“The 400-metre bridge over the main line will be launched this week. In our meeting on Sunday with the CR team, they gave us the green signal necessary to start work immediately. We have resolved all the glitches in the project,” he said.
“A few other technical issues that were holding the project back, such as the overhead electrical line at Tilak Nagar railway station, and issues relating to the buffer-zone of the CR, where we are planning to construct a central pier between two tracks for the bridge over the main line, have been resolved,” he added.
The 6.45-km SCLR will boast Mumbai’s first double-deck bridge over the main CR line and will connect the Western Express Highway to the Eastern Express Highway in an effort to enhance east-west connectivity. The six-lane road is being constructed as part of the World Bank-funded Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP) and was scheduled to be completed in 2008.
However, the project has been dogged by delays due to various hurdles related to land acquisition, rehabilitation of nearly 3,500 project-affected people and approvals from the CR.
The MMRDA is the nodal agency for the project and the MSRDC is the implementing agency. The World Bank has blamed the delay on lack of clarity of roles of the MMRDA and the MSRDC, delay in design approvals and the lack of coordination with railways.
The MMRDA had waited for CR approvals to take the SCLR over the tracks on the main line and Harbour line at Kurla for over five years, and was made to change the design of the bridges five times. In July, the CR gave its approval for the construction methodology and launching scheme for the bridges.
The project cost has been revised several times. As against an original estimate of Rs 115 crore, it is finally estimated to cost Rs 435 crore, a jump of 278 per cent.