Seven transport projects that will change the face of Mumbai
HT looks at the big-ticket projects that will cut your travel time, and let you commute without breaking a sweat.mumbai Updated: Jul 15, 2012 01:06 IST
The aim: To provide horizontal connectivity in the city.
Status: For the past 159 years, Mumbaiites have been relying on the railways as a suburban public transport system. The efficient but ageing mass transit system offers north-south connectivity. But with areas such as Andheri, Bandra-Kurla Complex and Vikhroli developing into business hubs, Mumbai is in desperate and urgent need for east-west connectivity, that is, connection between the central and the western suburbs. Mumbai's first metro line is expected to do just that. The much-delayed line is scheduled to start running by mid-2013, which will give citizens access to an air-conditioned transit system that runs from Versova to Ghatkopar, an 11-km distance. A slew of other Metro lines are also in the pipeline, but when work on those projects will begin is anybody's guess.
Mumbai Trans Harbour Link
The aim: The sea-bridge will connect Mumbai to the mainland and will play a crucial role in solving the city's traffic woes. It's expected to make travel between the island city and Navi Mumbai, Pune and Nashik, as well as to the proposed international airport near Panvel very easy.
Status: Work on the project that will connect Sewri with Nhava in Raigad is expected to start in 2013. By the end of five years, residents of south Mumbai, who now spend about 90 minutes to get to Navi Mumbai, will be able to zip across the 32-km harbour link and reach the satellite city in less than 30 minutes. The project has been stalled for the past six years because of bureaucratic apathy and lack of political will. Since 2006, when the the state government floated tenders for building the sea link, China has built four sea links till date.
The Eastern Freeway Project
The aim: To ease the pressure off the Eastern Express Highway and Ambedkar Road while travelling from eastern suburbs to south Mumbai.
Status: The number of vehicles in Mumbai has risen from 49,000 vehicles in 1951 to close to 2 million in 2012. Compare this to the measly increase in road length — from 777km in 1951 to 2,000km in 2012. A major roadblock is the lack of alternatives for people from the eastern suburbs who want to travel to and from south Mumbai. Dependent so far on the Eastern Express Highway and Ambedkar Road, people may finally get some relief from traffic jams once the elevated road from south Mumbai to Ghatkopar is ready. A part of the freeway is expected to open by this December, while the entire project is expected to be ready by March 2013.
The Rs847-crore Eastern Freeway is supposed to cut travel time from south Mumbai to Ghatkopar to under 20 minutes.
The aim: A not-so-mass transit system that is meant to be a feeder route, an alternative to bus routes, that will transport people to business hubs.
Status: Kuala Lumpur has it, Dubai has it, and Mumbai too will have what many people claim is the city's very own toy train. The city's first monorail line, which will run from the bustling streets of Chembur to the almost deserted stretches of Wadala, is expected to be completed by 2013. With a carrying capacity of less than 600 commuters compared to the Metro's 1,500, many experts have questioned the need to build a monorail.
The aim: To provide an alternative mode of transport in a city that has limited land.
Status: The 27-year-old plan to use Mumbai's coastline for a mass rapid transit system may finally take off in 2013. The state has finally expedited plans to provide an affordable and alternative means of transport making use of the city's 64-km coastline. The government intends to connect south Mumbai to Borivli and Navi Mumbai. Tenders have been floated, and after the MSRDC awards tenders this year and gets the necessary clearances, work is expected to be completed in two years. About 39 catamarans and hovercrafts are expected to be deployed to cater to 80,000 people every day. Each vessel can carry between 200 to 300 passengers and is to run every 15 minutes during peak hours. An unsubsidised ticket could be between Rs200 and Rs250.
The aim: To provide a freeway connecting the western suburbs with south Mumbai and reducing traffic on over-burdened arterial roads in western Mumbai.
Status: The state has planned a 35-km coastal road that will link the western suburbs to Nariman Point. The proposed coastal road will include sea links, elevated roads and bridges along the western coast. The idea is to reduce traffic congestion on Nariman Point-Kandivli stretch. The estimated cost of the project is Rs8,000 crore to Rs10,000 crore. It is, however, in the nascent stage; the initial plan is ready, and environmental clearance is awaited.
Santacruz-Chembur link road
The aim: It is expected to connect the eastern and western suburbs for vehicular traffic.
Status: Currently, those who travel from the western suburbs towards Navi Mumbai either have to take the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road, Andheri-Kurla Road or a detour from Sion to reach Chembur, all of which take about 90 minutes to two hours during peak hours. Once the six-lane, part-elevated SCLR is ready, motorists are expected to be able reach Chembur from the western suburbs in flat 17 minutes. The relief and rehabilitation of project-affected people and the delay in clearances from the Central Railway for permission to build the road over railway lines has hugely delayed the project. The project, which will finally be completed next year, 10 years after it was commissioned, will also be an architectural wonder as it will be city's first double-decker flyover.