Mumbai coastal road likely to open fully only in October

Mumbai coastal road likely to open fully only in October

Mumbai coastal road likely to open fully only in October

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The completion of Mumbai’s coastal road project has faced further delays, pushing the full opening to October, nearly two years after its original deadline. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) cited a couple of major reasons for the setback.

Firstly, approximately 20% of the labour force, 6,500 workers, has returned to their native places, a common occurrence in May, leading to a significant labour shortage. Secondly, the upcoming monsoon will prevent the laying of bitumen, a crucial component in road construction, which requires a dry spell.

So far, 89.2% of the total project work is complete, including 88% of road construction and 91% of interchanger work. The plan is to open the northbound stretch of the road from Marine Drive to Haji Ali by June 10, with further works continuing towards Worli. However, activities such as laying bitumen will be halted during the monsoon season.

Originally set to be completed by 2022, the project began in December 2018 and has faced multiple delays. The opening date was initially moved from November 2023 to March 2024 due to a change in the navigation span between two piers, increasing from the proposed 56 meters to 120 meters. The project cost totals Rs 13,984 crore.

Concerns Over Quality

Recently, a leakage on the newly opened section of the road raised concerns. MLA Varsha Gaikwad criticized the BMC and the Eknath Shinde-led government for the quality of work and the delays. “The government must answer for the slow progress, increased costs, and hasty inauguration of a half-baked project,” said Gaikwad.

In response, Shinde addressed the media, stating that there was no intention to take credit for the project prematurely. “A portion of it was opened as it was ready and would benefit commuters,” he said.

The phased opening of the coastal road aims to alleviate traffic congestion, but the delays and quality concerns have left the public and officials questioning the management and execution of this significant infrastructure project.