The state government will explore the option of building coastal roads instead of sea links for its Western Freeway project, which aims to link Versova and Bandra. The project includes the Bandra Worli sea link and the further stretches till Nariman Point.
This was one of the suggestions made by the Citizens Action Group (CAG), a group of prominent citizens set up to monitor the city’s makeover, in its meeting with Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and other cabinet ministers on Wednesday.
CAG meeting was last held in November. At the meeting it was also suggested that instead of bringing the link from Haji Ali to Priyadarshani Park, it should be stretched further to Nariman Point. The state will seek technical advice on this.
“We are just pushing the traffic jams from Worli to Haji Ali till the final sea link gets built. There should be better realignment. Coastal roads are a more cost effective and safe option than the sea link,” said Narinder Nayar, CAG member.
Coastal roads can be build by reclaiming small portion of land and as per the new draft notification on Coastal Regulatory Zone norms, this can be allowed.
Chavan said the state would explore this option in the next stage, and that the Bandra Versova link bidding process would start by 2011.
He said the state agencies would try and get environmental clearance for the entire stretch instead of the link in phases to avoid delays.
He asked Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) to finalise two townships in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region in five years.
The agency has shortlisted one township off Kalyan, informed MMRDA Commissioner, Ratnakar Gaikwad.
Chavan assured that the MMRDA would try and implement all nine corridors of the Metro and the monorail simultaneously to bring tangible benefits to commuters.
CAG members also asked the state to take up these works at the same time instead of in phases. “Some traffic snarls have to be endured to get long term benefits of the Metro and the monorail,” added Nayar.
Chavan promised CAG that Metro, monorail corridors, sea links, the Eastern Freeway and the Vashi Panvel expressway would be completed within five years.