Mumbai: The Maharashtra state government has given an in-principle clearance to the Maharashtra Road Development Corporation's four newly-proposed infrastructure projects worth Rs 15,000 crore for Mumbai. The government has also asked the corporation to submit all the necessary socio-economic feasibility studies related to these projects at the earliest.
The total cost of the four projects - Western Freeway, connecting the Bandra-Worli Sea Link project to Nariman Point; Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link, a road- and rail-link from Sewri in Mumbai to Nhava Seva in Navi Mumbai; Nhava-Sewri Trans-Harbour Sea-Link project, a road-cum-bridge line over the sea connecting Navi Mumbai to Mumbai; and Thane Transport System, a rail transport system inside the Thane city - is estimated at Rs 15,000 crore.
Senior MSRDC officials said the state government has given an in-principle clearance to these project recently and at present the corporation is carrying out all the necessary feasibility studies for these projects.
They said during the past two decades, the existing western corridor stretching from Bandra to Cuffe Parade has become highly congested and the traffic levels have already reached the saturation level. The construction of Bandra-Worli Sea Link taken up by the MSRDC two years back is only a partial solution to this problem.
According to them, the proposed Western Freeway is a north-south sea link connecting the Worli Bandra Sea Link to Nariman Point with a dispersal link connecting Cuffe Parade. The alignment runs over major bridges keeping the shoreline at about 150 metres from Worli Hill and thereafter across the bay up to Nariman Point.
The proposed project starts from the take-off point at Worli-end of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link at Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan Road running parallel to the shoreline, the alignment then traverses Love Grove Outfall and Haji Bay before running close to Priyadarshani Park and then skirts the Malabar Hill and enters the bay at Malabar Hill point to connect to the Netaji Subhash Bose Road near NCPA.
The cost of this project is estimated at around Rs 2,000 crore and the construction will be started by the end of this year. This project may be completed by the end of the year 2003.
MSRDC officials said the other proposed project, the Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link, providing a road- and rail-link from Sewri in Mumbai to Nhava in Navi Mumbai through the northern end of the Mumbai Harbour, will open new vistas for the development in the state. This link will promote the future development in an east-west direction thereby considerably reducing pressure on city's road and rail network, they added.
This project involves the construction of a 25-km-long main bridge across the harbour and proper traffic dispersal system at both the ends. The dispersal system in Mumbai will be in the form of interchanges and elevated roads connecting the major arteries of the city.
Similarly, the dispersal system on the mainland involves interchanges and connectors to Navi Mumbai road network, NH4B, NH17, NH4 and the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. The total cost of this project is also estimated at around Rs 2,000 crore.
Similarly, the officials said that parallel to the Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link, the Corporation had proposed a sea link project called the Nhava-Sewri Trans-Harbour Sea-Link project. The 75-km-road-cum-rail bridge project will pass over the sea from Sewri in Mumbai to Nhava Seva in Navi Mumbai.
The total cost this project is estimated at Rs 10,000 crore: around Rs 4,000 crore for the eight-line road bridge project and another Rs 6,000 crore for the two-track railway project. The construction is likely to start in 2002.
The MSRDC had also proposed a Rs 1,000-crore urban transport system for Thane district called Thane Transit System. Currently, the Thane city is served by only one station on the Central Railway, as a result of which, the traffic dispersal at the railway station has become very difficult.
MSRDC officials said the travel distance and time to the railway station has been increasing due to the increasing size of the city and population. Presently, the city traffic is mainly handled by bus transport. However, owing to the limitations of narrow and inadequate roads, limited accessibility, congestion and inadequate bus transport services, there has been a spate of increase in personalised modes of transport and autorickshaws.
This new project is a 21-km Light Rail Transit System inside the Thane city, connecting the present Thane station with different parts of Thane city. The officials said this project will be implemented on a build-own-operate and transfer basis.