The state plans to ensure seamless mobility within the Mumbai metropolitan region (MMR) through an integrated rail, road, metro and mono rail network so that travel doesn’t take more than an hour between any two points.
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, who was speaking at the Make in Mumbai seminar on Monday — hosted by the BMC as part of the six-day Make in India expo — said that for this his government was planning infrastructure projects worth Rs4 lakh crore, with foreign funding and expertise, if needed.
As such, the government was planning to open up two crucial sectors — infrastructure building and affordable housing — to foreign players.
Fadnavis said this, along with the creation of the International Financial Services Centre in Mumbai, would ensure rapid economic growth and development for the city.
He said Mumbai had to undergo a transformation of this kind to keep pace. “I have asked MMRDA chief UPS Madan to urgently put together a comprehensive urban mobility plan for seamless connectivity through the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). The plan needs to be such that every place must be less than an hour away from each other.”
Urban and transport experts have said Mumbai needs seamless and fast connectivity within the MMR for further development and to ease the pressure on real estate in the city. According to Fadnavis, the new mobility plan will seek to integrate all existing and upcoming modes of transportation - rail, road, bus, metro and mono rail. Eight years ago, the MMRDA had conducted a Comprehensive Transportation Study, which had recommended a dense network of metro and mono rail facilities.
Fadnavis said the plan had to be updated to ensure quicker and better commute, especially in view of the upcoming Navi Mumbai International Airport and the Navi Mumbai Airport Influenced Notified Area (NAINA).
Fadnavis also announced that the government was actively looking at soliciting foreign funding and expertise in building affordable homes in the city, through agencies such as the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) and the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA).
Lamenting that even Rs1 crore will not fetch you a home in the city, Fadnavis said the state will embark on a new mission to rectify this. “Like Make in Mumbai, we need a ‘Build in Mumbai’ campaign for building affordable homes. A city where 50 per cent of the population lives in slums and which doesn’t have enough affordable homes can be a huge market for such a scheme,” he said, adding that the city needed to draw up a transparent, accountable process for construction.
“Organisations like CREDAI and NAREDCO have committed to building 5 lakh homes. The Canadian Pension fund wants to build 4 lakh homes. If we can ensure a transparent and accountable system, all these global players will come and build in Mumbai,” he said.
Fadnavis also said that plans to create the International Financial Services Centre in the city were on track. “The truth is, no other city has the advantage that Mumbai has, in being such a centre. If any other financial centre has to develop it will have to collaborate with Mumbai; it can’t develop in isolation,” he said, in relation to the proposed Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT), the country’s first international financial services centre.