To reduce traffic congestion in Mira-Bhayandar and Thane, the state government has announced that it will establish a water transport system on Thane creek with jetties at eight places.
If all goes according to plan, the waterway will be operational in three years.
The transport system will connect cardinal areas through jetties at Kalyan, Vasai, Mira-Bhayander, Ghodbandar Road, Bhiwandi, Kolshet, Diva and Thane.
The Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) conducted a survey and came up with a positive feasibility report, after which the state government decided that it would start work on the project in the next two months.
Estimated to cost Rs100 crore, the project will be jointly implemented by the MMB, Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) and the Mira-Bhayander Municipal Corporation. According to MMB officers, the two municipal corporations will fund the project according to the area that falls under their jurisdiction. The TMC will pitch in Rs32 crore, while the two agencies are expected put it almost the same amount.
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis announced that he will appoint a dedicated officer to implement the project and ensure that it meets its deadline. “The state government will not leave any stone unturned and see to it that the project is completed in the stipulated period. The detailed report will soon be prepared by agencies involved. Not only will it help us reduce congestion in Mira-Bhayandar and Thane, but also on adjacent roads in Mumbai. The pollution levels and cost of travel will drop significantly,” he said.
Fadnavis said that the Central government had various waterway projects lined up, including Ro-Ro services at Gorai, Vasai and Bhayander under its Sagarmala project. The Inland Waterway Authority of India has notified 14 waterways with the total length of 145km in Maharshtra, of which seven are on creeks and seven on rivers. The creek waterway will be called National Waterway-53.
The CM said that the government’s endevour was to complete all water transport projects in the next three years.
“Water transport on the eastern coast of Mumbai will soon be a reality as construction of jetties, bream water work for Mandwa terminal, Ro-Ro services between Mandwa, Nerul and Ferry Wharf has begun. We can operate the services on the eastern coast of the city for almost 10 to 11 months a year. Services on the wastern coast — between Nariman Point and Borivli — do not seem feasible because of the volatile sea that restricts the services to six months,” he said.
Fadnavis was replying to a calling attention by Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik and BJP legislator Sanjay Kelkar.
“The beautification at Gaimukh has already begun and expected to complete in a few moths. The waterway will connect Mira-Bhayandar, Vasai Virar, Kalyan Dombivli, Bhiwandi, Thane and Navi Mumbai, once extended later. We have been pushing for this for the past seven years,” Sarnaik said.
Fadnavis assured the house that he will consider the track Ro-Ro service between Kasheli and Ghodbandar in Thane for the diversion of the heavy traffic such as trucks that head towards Thane and Gujarat.