Thane plans 65 new roads in two years; activists sceptical

January 03, 2020

Thane Even as the road-widening project started by Thane Municipal Corporation in 2015 is going on at a snail’s speed, the public works department (PWD) has said it would build new roads in the next two years.

The department has an ambitious vision of completing 65 roads of 67 kilometres across the city by the end of 2021. This, the corporation claimed, will ensure that around 80% of the roads in the city’s developmental plan (DP) are implemented.

TMC has completed building only 27 new roads of 25km in the past four years. These include missing links such as Pawar Nagar Road, Varun Garden Road, Waghbil Road, Pokharan Road one, two and three.

A TMC official of PWD said, “We have chalked out a vision document to speed up the road-widening project across the city. This includes building 65 roads of around 67km by 2021 —31km will be new roads, 26km roads will be widened while 9km will be upgraded to concrete roads. We have started the work on most of these roads, while the work orders for the rest have been given.”

The official said the delay in completion is because it is a lengthy process. “We have to first acquire the land, rehabilitate the project-affected and demolish structures before starting work. It is time-consuming as we acquire land in exchange of transfer and development rights. We also need to have enough housing stock to rehabilitate the people affected in the widening,” he added.

Activist Milind Gaikwad said the vision will merely be on paper as it is not feasible to build so many roads in two years. “The vision looks good on paper but it is not possible to implement it. The city is already facing congestion due to Metro work. If the internal roads too are dug up for concretisation or widening, there will be more traffic snarls in the city in the coming months.”

Gaikwad said that most of these roads were completed in the past four years keeping in mind the developers. “Most of the roads widened are along residential projects, thus benefiting the sale of houses,” he added.

The civic officials said all the roads are existing as per the DP and the municipal corporation is merely implementing the plan.

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