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Land proves major roadblock

Acquiring land and resettling affected families are the major obstacles in building transport infrastructure in Maharashtra, a panel of experts opined on Thursday.

mumbai Updated: Apr 29, 2011 01:30 IST
Neha Ghatpande

Acquiring land and resettling affected families are the major obstacles in building transport infrastructure in Maharashtra, a panel of experts opined on Thursday.

Experts from the field of infrastructure and transport were speaking at the Golden Maharashtra Exhibition and Seminar that was inaugurated at the MMRDA grounds in Bandra-Kurla Complex.

According to them, transport infrastructure in Maharashtra will get a boost only if implementation of projects matches the need of the people. And for that quick solutions to hurdles must be found. "Several infrastructure projects such as roads in Nagpur, link roads in Mumbai and intercity road networks are being developed, but their implementation is so slow that it will become hard to attract investments," said panelist Susanto Sen, practice head, infrastructure, TATA Strategic Management Group.

For instance, the Bandra-Worli sea link was delayed by more than decade, while the Santacruz-Chembur link road has been under construction for more than six years. Apart from that, it took the Central Railway 17 years to build the fifth and sixth between Kurla and Thane.

According to experts, political pressure also results in delaying projects.

Sharad Sabnis, chief engineer, public works department, said Maharashtra had a good road network, but lagged behind on two points - providing speedy transport and accessibility to remote areas.

The state has 5,000km of national highways and 30,000km of state highways; the road network is around 2,30,000km. But the state shares only 9% of the total highways in the country.

Sabnis said, "The future of Maharashtra's infrastructure is in the public-private partnership (PPP). The state has Rs35,000 crore invested in the form of PPP and it can bring more development to the state."

Transport expert Sudhir Badami said, "If urban transport is considered, mobility in Mumbai is good, but not adequate. We have to strengthen public transport across the state."