The ambitious coastal road project, a super-way to bring the city closer, may now be extended up to the Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway through Vasai and Virar.
The Rs14,000-crore project proposes to connect Marine Lines in the south to Kandivli in the north with a 29.2-km road running along the coast. Plans of its extension were announced on Saturday by Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray during a site inspection with civic chief Ajoy Mehta.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has said the foundation stone for the first phase will be laid before next year’s monsoon. Meanwhile, the looming civic polls are likely to see allies Sena and BJP lock horns over credit for this, and several other infrastructure upgrades proposed for the city.
While CM Devendra Fadnavis boasts of having pushed the project with various state and Central agencies, Thackeray claimed to be committed to completing it quickly so commuting becomes hassle-free.
“The first phase, between Princess Street and the Bandra Sea Link, will be completed by 2019, after which work for on the next phase will begin. We are proposing to extend the road to the Ahmedabad highway ,” Thackeray said on Saturday.
Mehta said extending the project till the Mumbai-Ahemdabad highway will also help decongest the arterial western express highway. “The plan is in a very initial phase, and as of now, we are focussing on getting the first phase off the ground,” Mehta said.
“Another good thing about the project is, the iconic Girgaum Chowpatty will remain unaffected of this project,” Thackeray said.
The coastal road proposes to connect the western suburbs along the coast, using a combination of under-sea tunnels, roads on reclaimed land and elevated roads. It will have eight lanes with two dedicated bus lanes. The project will require 186 hectares of land to be reclaimed, of which 91 hectares will be developed as green spaces. To speed up clearance, the BMC plans to build the road in phases — a south phase that may get faster environmental clearances owing to its location; and a trickier north phase, which needs mangrove and coastal land clearances.