The clearance for the second airport is expected to boost the Metro rail connectivity between the city and Navi Mumbai.
Plans are afoot to link the Mumbai Metro network with Navi Mumbai’s so that people can reach the new airport by road and also in the comforts of an air-conditioned Metro coach.
“The clearance of the new airport increases the necessity of a Metro line from Mumbai to the new airport. We are in talks with Cidco to see how our two lines can be integrated,” said Ratnakar Gaikwad, metropolitan commissioner.
While the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is building nines Metro routes in the city — they do not extend beyond Thane creek.
The City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco) is constructing six Metro corridors in Navi Mumbai.
The city planners are now looking at integrating the MMRDA’s Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd line with the Panvel-Nerul-Vashi route in Navi Mumbai.
“Senior officials from Cidco and MMRDA are in constant communication about this connectivity. The previous head of Cidco [GS Gill] has had meetings with us on the issue,” Gaikwad said.
There is a growing need to set up a public transport system to allow easy access to the new airport from Mumbai.
The Navi Mumbai airport is likely to see nearly 4.5 crore passengers by 2022, who are likely to use the already saturated six-lane Sion-Panvel Road.
Experts believe that the existing transport infrastructure is not adequate to handle the strain that the new airport will put on the city.
“For a project of this size it is imperative to have a public transport system that will offer the public connectivity to this area at a low cost,” said Ashok Datar, transport expert.