A four-lane elevated road will pass through Aarey colony as part of the Goregaon-Mulund Link Road. The BMC, which took over the existing two-lane road from the state dairy development department, had earlier proposed to widen the road to four lanes. “We had planned an elevated road from outside Aarey . Since the department had given the road on the condition that trees should not be cut for widening, we have now decided to make it a completely elevated road even through Aarey ,'' said S V R Srinivas, additional municipal commissioner, in-charge of road projects.
The proposed elevated road will be 14.5 km long, connecting the Western Express Highway and the Eastern Express Highway . It is the last of the east-west links left to be developed. The Santa Cruz-Chembur Link Road, Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link road, the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar metro are other links between the eastern and western parts of the city . The elevated section through Aarey will increase the cost of the road by another Rs.200 crore, taking the total cost to approximately Rs.1,300 crore.
The road will begin from the Western Express Highway and go over Saki-Vihar Road. Here, an elevated junction will be provided to avoid signals and motorists from JVLR and beyond can get on the elevated road at this point. The elevated road will then go to LBS Marg where it will split northwards to Mulund East and to the south towards the island city . From Mulund East, motorists will be able to access the Eastern Express Highway . At the Sonapur junction on LBS Marg, the BMC has planned a landing both on the left and right sides. The road will have six entry and exit points each. After every one km it will be widened for an evacuation area for vehicles that break down, or in case of accidents, to ensure speedy clearance of the road.
While Srinivas said the elevated road would ensure minimum number of trees will be cut, activists from the Save Aarey Movement pointed out that to accommodate the wide span of the elevated road, trees would inevitably be chopped.
“Around 1,500 trees are expected to be affected but these will be transplanted within Aarey colony. We have identified a few bald patches within Aarey where these can be transplanted. We shall plant even more trees if the Tree Authority wants us to do so on these bald patches,’’ Srinivas said.
Srinivas said the elevated road would reduce vehicular pollution as vehicles will be able to move fast without signals. Since it is an elevated road, there are only around 180 rehab components, both residential and commercial. Also very few underground utilities, mainly on LBS Marg, will need to be shifted, said Srinivas. The road will take a little over three years to complete.