Thane-Belapur Road expansion work finally starts at Digha
Civic body begins removing the 43 structures, giving a boost to the project
DIGHA: The eight-year-long pending road widening work of Thane-Belapur (TB) Road in Digha section has finally been resolved.
The order to clear the encroachments was given by municipal commissioner Tukaram Munde last week to ensure free flow of traffic on the busy road. The clearance of the structures began on Friday with several residents themselves taking up the work.
TB road has been one of the main roads of the city connecting Thane to various nodes here. The road gained importance after 1960 when the MIDC industrial belt was set up on its eastern side. Traffic on the road increased tremendously after 1970 as the city of Navi Mumbai was developed.
Within a few years, the road was inadequate of the rising number of vehicles. The road owned by Cidco and MIDC was also in pathetic state. Motorists had to spend over an hour to clear the 15 km stretch wasting time and money of the residents.
The NMMC in 2006, under the central government’s ASIDE scheme, decided to develop the road. The project involved widening it to 6 lanes and concretising the road and making it easier for flow of traffic. Foot overbridge and flyovers were planned on it.
While the road was completed, work in around 180 metre section of the road in Digha area could not be taken up due to encroachments. The issue remained pending for eight years due to legal issues and local opposition. As a result, despite the construction of the road, there were regular traffic snarls in Digha area due to the narrow road there.
Deputy municipal commissioner Jagannath Sinnarkar said, “Last week, when the commissioner visited Digha ward and learnt about the pending issue, he instructed the anti-encroachment department to clear encroachments within eight days.”
He added, “The order was given to ensure that the residents and motorists do not have to suffer loss of time and money and the traffic jams are prevented on the busy road.”
The order to clear 43 structures resulted in several locals joining the demolition work on Friday. Local corporator Navin Gavte said, “We got our own machinery and are clearing the structures since morning. We did not wait for the officials.”
Workers demolish structures at Digha on Friday.