The city’s east-west connectivity is likely to get a boost this month with the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) set to get the nod from the state government for the proposed Lokhandwala-Jogeshwari-Kanjurmarg (Metro-6) corridor.
According to MMRDA’s senior officials, the state cabinet is likely to approve the two corridors this month after the detailed project reports of the Lokhandwala-Kanjurmarg corridor and the Thane-Bhiwandi-Kalyan corridor (Metro-5) were submitted to them. They were approved by the MMRDA in October last year.
In a city that has poor east-west connectivity, the Metro-6 corridor is only the second metro line that connects the two parts. Currently, the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar corridor (Metro-1) is the only line that connects the eastern and western suburbs. The east-west road connectivity by road is currently provided by the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road (JVLR), Santracruz-Chembur Link Road and the Andheri-Ghatkopar Link Road.
When the Mumbai Metro project was first planned, the idea was to provide east-west mass transit connectivity. But, a majority of the new corridors planned run along the north-south axis of the city.
Senior MMRDA officials said that like the 11.4-km Metro-1 corridor , the Metro-6 line would also help decongest the east-west connecting roads. “The corridor is aimed at decongesting not just JVLR, but also the Western Express Highway, SV Road, Link Road and the flyover that brings traffic from SV Road to the highway,” an official said.
Meanwhile, amid the increasing demand for more metro corridors in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, the MMRDA is also likely to get a clearance from the state government for the proposed Metro-5 corridor that will connect Thane-Bhiwandi-Kalyan.
Many public representatives including Member of Parliament from Kalyan, Shrikant Shinde, have made demands and presentations to MMRDA to extend the metro corridors in the MMR with an aim to boost its growth and also provide better connectivity for its growing population.
According to the official, the volume of traffic in MMR has increased manifold and there is a need for people to move from private vehicles to a mass transport system. “Also, as the real estate rates have gone through the roof in Mumbai and even Thane, people have no choice but to move to far-flung areas such as Vasai-Virar, Kalyan, Dombivli, among others. These areas need better connectivity with Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Thane,” the official said.