Railway police chief is city’s new joint police commissioner Traffic eases on Thane-Belapur Road
After two lanes open for traffic, vehicle movement on the busy stretch at Digha becomes smoother
Railway police commissioner of Mumbai, Madhukar Pandey, has been named as the joint commissioner of police in Navi Mumbai.
A transfer order released by the state home ministry on Friday featured Pandey’s name.
The Navi Mumbai police commissionerate earlier had a post of additional commissioner of police and the officer holding the charges would overlook crime investigations, traffic management, administration and other important branches of the police department.
The post has now been upgraded to joint commissioner of police.
“Even as the existing post has been upgraded to joint commissioner, there will hardly be any difference in the responsibilities of the officer holding the post,” said a senior police officer from Navi Mumbai police commissioner’s office.
“The new officer will have to handle the same responsibilities, earlier tackled by the additional commissioner,” he said.
In the second week of January, the state promoted and transferred the additional commissioner of police of Navi Mumbai, VR Chauhan to Pune as Inspector General of police (IGP).
The post had been lying vacant for the past six months.
“The post has been upgraded and the new officer has also been appointed for it. It is good news for us. We think after he is relieved by the railway police, the new officer will join us on Monday or Tuesday,” said Dilip Sawant, deputy commissioner of police (crime).
Two concrete lanes on Thane-Belapur road were thrown open to traffic recently.
The busy road, which used to see regular traffic snarls, has now become a smooth ride.
Work on the remaining lanes is in progress and expected to be completed soon.
Additional municipal commissioner Ankush Chavan said, “Work on two lanes has been completed and hence they were thrown open for traffic earlier this week.”
He added, “Work on the remaining lanes is in progress and will be completed at the earliest.”
The road widening and concretisation work in the Digha section of Thane-Belapur Road had been stuck for the past eight years. Municipal commissioner Tukaram Mundhe, after taking charge, got the encroachments on the road removed in May.
This paved way for concretization work.
Thane-Belapur Road is the busiest road in the city after Sion-Panvel highway. It has been one of the main roads of the city connecting Thane to various nodes and also the route to JNPT. The road gained importance after 1960 when the MIDC The Thane-Belapur Road at Digha is now wider and better.
industrial belt was set up on its eastern side. Traffic on the road increased tremendously after 1970 as the city of Navi Mumbai started developing.
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 six lanes and concretising the road and making it easier for flow of traffic. Foot overbridge and flyovers too were planned on it.
While the road was completed, work in around 180m 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 excellent road, there were regular traffic snarls in Digha area due to the narrow road there.
Following Mundhe’s order, the concretisation work was taken up. Darshan Singh, who plies by the road every day, said: “It was a nightmare passing through the area all these years after zooming through the rest of the road. There were several accidents in the area too.”
He added, “Several times I used the Airoli-Mulund route to avoid traffic here and save time. Of course, I had to pay toll for using that route. I will now be able to save on both time and money.”