Borivli-Ghodbunder tunnel plan continues to be a distant dream
MSRDC says project delayed because it hasn’t received permission for geo-technical probe
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.