Raj warns against stalling flyover

Mumbai:  The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) Tuesday locked horns with the state government over the much-delayed flyover in the posh Pedder Road area of south Mumbai owing to stiff opposition by celebrities like singers Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle and others living there.

MNS chief Raj Thackeray warned that unless the government constructs a flyover on Pedder Road, his party would not permit construction of any other flyover in the city or the state.

“The government said it would take into account the views of the local people before constructing the Pedder Road flyover. The project has been held up only due to the opposition by the Mangeshkar family,” Thackeray told mediapersons Tuesday evening.

“Why should the government consult the locals of Pedder Road before constructing the flyover? Did they consult the commoners while constructing other flyovers all over Mumbai? Why this special treatment for the Mangeshkar family only?” Thackeray added.

His stance came following the state government’s plans to drop the flyover at Pedder Road and instead compensate by constructing two flyovers nearby – one at Haji Ali junction and the other at Cadbury Company junction.

A high-level delegation, including top office bearers, MNS women’s wing, five legislators and others met Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan Tuesday and urged him to go ahead with the flyover project, said party spokesman Nitin Sardesai.

“The CM said that he was out of station last week and would look into the matter and get back to us,” Sardesai said.

The 4.5 km-long Pedder Road flyover has been stuck at the proposal stage for over 10 years after opposition from the Pedder Road Residents Association (PRRA).

Among other things, the PRRA said that it would lead to increased noise and air pollution, and some individuals also apprehended that it would affect their privacy and block their view of the Arabian Sea on the western side.

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