The Eastern Freeway that connects Chembur to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) is a boon for motorists, but there are loopholes that may compromise security of travellers and some major installations along the route.
Three months after the 13.59 km-long road opened for the public, the Mumbai police has sent a letter (a copy of which is with dna) to the Public Works Department (PWD) about the problems and the police have also suggested solutions.
The freeway passes by important installations such as the Mumbai Port Trust, Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers (RCF) and Indian Oil Corporation, that can be seen from the road.
Second, the road could be used as a free passage by criminals, who could make a getaway from the city to Navi Mumbai within minutes after committing a crime.
“As there is no police patrolling, anti-socials can easily flee. Besides, no specific spots have been allotted to build police posts. With Mumbai being a target of terror groups, it is only reasonable that these important installations are guarded,” said a senior police officer.
The police has suggested that thick, protective steel sheets be set up on either side of the freeway so that the important installations are out of view of motorists.
They have also requested the PWD to set up police posts on the freeway as this could prevent any untoward incident and the police could be easily available to provide assistance in case of an accident. The policemen at these posts should be provided with weapons to deal with any emergency.
“The Eastern Freeway has been partly opened for motorists and allows a speed limit of 40km, 50km and 60km on various stretches. However, none of the motorists follow this limit and it has been observed that most vehicles run at a speed of 90 to 100 km per hour,” said a traffic police officer.
This is one of the major and urgent problems that the police will have to deal with once the project is completed. The Mumbai police have asked for speed guns and the installation of CCTV cameras along the route.
They want entry barred for two-wheelers, three-wheelers, tricycles and bullock carts and strict punishment for those flouting these rules. The tunnel near Anik Panjarjpol has become a pedestrian crossing for people living in nearby slums.
This could lead to fatal mishaps as vehicles speed through the stretch. The police have suggested installing barriers to deal with the problem.