The old airport road which links Khamla road with Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport will be reopened for commuting purpose. The road, which was shut for decades, will now be reopened to divert the traffic of Wardha road. The diversion will help in speeding up the rate of Metro rail works and also of the double-decker flyover. Eventually, the road will be used for commutation of VVIPs and as an emergency passage to the airport.
The gates of the old airport have been opened by the Maharashtra Airport Development Corporation (MADC) along with Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Limited (Mahametro). The road opens towards the Sahakar Nagar crematorium. Widening of the road and asphalting work have begun a few days ago. Presently 3.5 meters, the road will be expanded to 5.5-6 meters.
The road, which is of the British era, was of 900-meter length even back then. It was shut down when the Wardha road was widened. The road also connects to the road between airport and Wardha road, which is 200 meters before the airport terminal.
Explaining that consent of Mahametro has been obtained for widening and asphalting of the road, a MADC official told TOI: “There are various issues like security to the airport, flying club situated on the road etc. Therefore, the final plan as to how and who to be permitted on the road will be decided after completion of the works.”
Mahesh Kumar, Mahametro director (projects), said that the main purpose of opening up of the road is to reduce the traffic congestion on Wardha road.
“We are planning to speed up works on double-decker flyover being constructed on Wardha road by roping in big cranes and other machineries. Need is to block one way of Wardha road for roping in these machineries for next 6-8 months. Probably, the way from the airport square to the city will be blocked. We will divert only one-way traffic on the Old Airport road after getting final permission from MADC,” he said.
Another Mahametor official on the condition of anonymity said that the after opening up of the old airport road, one way of the Wardha road will be blocked. “It causes congestion and also safety problems. For sure, one way of Wardha road will be blocked during night hours after making the Old Airport road ready. A plan for morning hours diversion is also in the pipeline,” he said.
Currently, the Old Airport road is being used by the residents in the nearby areas for morning and evening walks. Nearly 1,500-1,600 citizens are found walking on the forest-like stretch. An old Murlidhar temple and NMC’s overhead water tank also fall on this patch.
The reopening of the road has left the walkers miffed. “Walking was banned totally for couple of months in 2016. We all enter the premises for walking in an unusual manner. We met the MADC authorities, AAI and Indian Air Force who did not permit opening of gates citing security issues. Now the road is being prepared for traffic,” said walkers.
The Old Airport road will also be used for VVIPs and as an emergency passage to the airport, according to the plans of MADC officials. However, the ultimate decision will only be taken after the works of Metro rail are completed on Wardha road.
Information source: timesofindia
Title image source: srx