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Virar-Alibaug corridor in fast lane? Maharashtra govt seeks ₹14,000-cr loan from World Bank

The move comes after the CM met the World Bank CEO

mumbai Updated: Jun 18, 2018 12:21 IST
Swapnil Rawal
Swapnil Rawal
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,MMRDA,Virar-Alibaug corridor
An artist’s impression of the corridor.

After chief minister Devendra Fadnavis pitched for financial assistance from the World Bank for the Virar-Alibaug Multimodal Corridor (VAMC), the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has sought a loan of ₹14,000 crore from the international financial institution for the mega project.

The 128-km road is proposed to have eight lanes, a Metro corridor in the median, several flyovers, bridges, underpasses, overpasses and growth centres. It aims to decongest Mumbai and turn its neighbouring towns into business hubs.

The department of economic affairs (DEA) has given its go-ahead to MMRDA, the implementing agency, for seeking financial assistance.

A DEA approval is required for seeking loans from multilateral financial institutions.

Fadnavis, who is on a three-nation tour, met World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva in Washington DC, US, on Thursday. In the meeting, Fadnavis sought funds from Georgieva for the Virar-Alibaug corridor. She assured Fadnavis of a positive consideration for the project.

“We have got an in-principal nod from the DEA. We are seeking a loan of ₹14,000 crore. The World Bank would now include the project in their annual roll and intimate us,” said Sanjay Khandare, additional metropolitan commissioner, MMRDA.

According to Khandare, the World Bank has asked the MMRDA to divide construction into five packages.

The MMRDA had earlier planned to build the eight-lane road in two phases: a 98.5-km highway between Navghar and Balavali; and another 29.9km between Balavali and Alibaug. The estimated cost of the Navghar-Balavali road is ₹23,000 crore. The MMRDA is yet to peg the cost of phase 2.

The tenders are likely to be invited by the end of the year. In the interim, the MMRDA will acquire land for the project, a senior MMRDA official said.

The corridor, which was proposed in 2010, envisages to provide connectivity to towns such as Panvel, Bhiwandi, Virar, Kalyan, Pen, Uran and Alibaug.

Passing through 32 villages, the corridor will have interchange nodes with several highways such as Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway (NH-8), Mumbai-Agra (NH-3), Mumbai-Pune Expressway and Mumbai-Goa (NH-17). The Metro corridor will be built in phases. The multimodal corridor is likely to have 72 bridges, 21 flyovers, two overpasses, 35 vehicular underparsses, etc.

First Published: Jun 17, 2018 01:05 IST