India’s first double-decker flyover, part of the 3.5 kilometre long Santacruz-Chembur Link Road (SCLR) – is expected to be commissioned shortly. The construction of the Rs 428 crore project is at final stages, said a statement from Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), without giving a specific date for the commencement of the project.
The project which has been under construction for the last 11 years has seen its cost revised several times and missed many deadlines. "The original cost estimates pegged the project at Rs 280 crore", Dilip Kawathkar, spokesperson of MMRDA, said.
SCLR has faced innumerable court cases, various issues related to resettlement and rehabilitation, encroachment etc. The project involved rehabilitation of more than 3,500 project affected families and included residential, commercial as well as religious structures.
The Santacruz-Chembur Link Road is expected to ease traffic snarls at Amar Mahal junction in Chembur, Vakola (near Santacruz), Sion and Kurla areas in the eastern suburbs of Mumbai, and will also significantly de-congest the eastern and western express highways. The SCLR project will also reduce traffic chaos at Sion and Kalanagar junctions. This will enable commuters travel from Santacruz in the west to Chembur in the east in a mere 15-20 minutes, which currently takes between 60 to 90 minutes to cross during peak hours.
The SCLR – providing three lanes each for up and down traffic – is expected to carry more than 80,000 vehicles per day. The upper and the lower levels of the flyover provide two lanes each for up and down traffic. The authority has also provided footpaths on the lower level flyover for commuters who intend to cross over from Kurla Station to Lokmanya Tilak Terminus and vice versa.