Borivli-Ghod­bun­der tun­nel plan con­tin­ues to be a dis­tant dream

MSRDC says pro­ject de­layed be­cause it hasn’t re­ceived per­mis­sion for geo-tech­ni­cal probe

Mid Day - - CITY - RAN­JEET JAD­HAV ran­jeet.jad­ Length of the pro­posed tun­nel

THE BORIVLI to Ghod­bun­der un­der­ground road tun­nel, pro­posed to pass be­low the San­jay Gandhi Na­tional Park (SGNP), might get de­layed as the state road agency hasn’t yet got per­mis­sion to carry out geo-tech­ni­cal in­ves­ti­ga­tions in the for­est area.

The Ma­ha­rash­tra State Road De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (MSRDC) pro­ject, which in­volves build­ing an 11-km-long twin tun­nel, has been in the pipe­line for nearly two years now.

Speak­ing to mid­day, Ki­ran Ku­rand­kar, joint man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of MSRDC, said, “We have got per­mis­sions to carry out a to­pog­ra­phy sur­vey for the pro­ject in­side the park, but we are yet to get a nod to carry out geo-tech­ni­cal in­ves­ti­ga­tions. Our team of of­fi­cials is fol­low­ing up the mat­ter with the agen­cies con­cerned, after which a re­port will be pre­pared be­fore the pro­ject is im­ple­mented. All the en­vi­ron­ment and for­est clear­ances are at a very ad­vanced stage and we are ex­pect­ing the per­mis­sions soon.” For­est de­part­ment sources told this news­pa­per that as SGNP is a na­tional park, only the Min­istry of En­vi­ron­ment and For­est and the Na­tional Board of Wildlife would grant final per­mis­sions. This, the source said, is likely to take time. “We asked for per­mis­sions for geo-tech­ni­cal work around six to eight months ago. The pro­posal is un­der con­sid­er­a­tion,” said the state for­est de­part­ment of­fi­cial. Cur­rently, mo­torists have to travel 23 km in or­der to reach ThaneTiku­jini­wadi area from Borivli via the WEH and Thane-Ghod­bun­der Road. The au­thor­i­ties claim that the tun­nel­ing option has been pro­posed in or­der to ex­plore the pos­si­bil­ity of an­other shorter and eco­nom­i­cal align­ment, which will not only save time, but will also help in re­duc­ing the traf­fic from the cur­rent route.

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