The metro and monorail projects at Thane have seemingly turned into a theatre of war for agnostic allies Congress and NCP, who hold the reins of Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) and Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) respectively. It has been reported that MSRDC is planning to adopt the projects, which were originally expected to be executed by MMRDA.
Sources say this is an effort to settle old scores. MMRDA had put the ventures on the backburner after observing the slow pace of work on similar projects in Mumbai.
Confirming the same, an MMRDA representative requesting anonymity said, “The senior officials are of the opinion that we should concentrate on completing the metro and monorail work in Mumbai and so the chances of us undertaking parallel projects in Thane are slim. It is because of this that MSRDC is showing keen interest in the assignments.”
Over a year ago, MMRDA had announced its intention to develop metro and monorail projects in Thane with the aim of resolving the present commuting woes.
The authority had even proposed an alignment of metro rail corridor of the Wadala-Teen Hath Naka, up to Kasarvadavali. As per the suggestion, the metro would traverse through Wadala-Ghatkopar-Mulund and enter the Thane region from Anand Nagar Naka and then extend via Teen Hath Naka-Cadbury-Golden Dyes.
Further, the alignment would go up to Kasarvadavli. However, MMRDA appears daunted by its present experiences, where the planning authority has been facing criticism for the protracted work on the projects in Mumbai.
It should be noted that the metro as well as the Kapurbawdi-Balkum-Bhiwandi monorail alignment were also approved in the general body meeting of the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) in March 2011.
Sources say this is payback after MMRDA took over the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) project from MSRDC earlier. But, a source in MSRDC said, “We have plans to implement the metro and monorail ventures in Thane as with the increasing population in the area, there will be a great demand for mass transit systems.”
Sources from MSRDC said that in order to do a feasibility study about which mode of transport would find maximum acceptability in Thane, a consultant has also been appointed and a report will be submitted in a week’s time.
What MMRDA has to say
MMRDA joint project director Dilip Kawathkar said, “Our main aim is to concentrate on the projects which we have and to finish them at the earliest after which we’ll decide on taking up other assignments.”