The much-touted Comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP) has presented valuable observations to civic authorities but it has also posed a question to them: how to raise money for it. This is because according to the plan, the BMC should invest Rs 7,940 crore until 2019 and another Rs 38,000 crore until 2024 for infrastructure development. This, while the civic body’s coffers are facing a challenge called the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill.
The Suman Nagar flyover at Chembur. A transport expert said the CMP calls for creation of vertical road space by means of elevated roads and flyovers. File Picture
The BMC has prepared CMP with a view to study and ease issues about the traffic, transport and infrastructure of the city. The plan was made by a private agency over a period of more than a year and was released recently. It lists BMC, MMRDA, BEST, Traffic police and Railways as stakeholders. The CMP has been made with a view to decongest the city and provide better infrastructure. It has listed measures such as creation of missing links, development of dedicated bus routes, bus and truck terminals, increasing dependency on public transport etc for the same.
Since a large part of these measures is the creation of necessary infrastructure, it requires stakeholders to invest heavily in it. It calls for the investment of more than Rs 1 lakh crore in all until the year 2034. The BMC will bear a large chunk of the burden. The civic body is already feeling the pinch since, if passed, the GST will abolish octroi. Octroi makes up for the largest source of revenue for the BMC.
“The CMP is flawed in the first place. It calls for creation of vertical road space by means of elevated roads and flyovers. These are bad for the city’s traffic because they encourage the use of private cars. Even if cars use these flyovers, they are going to converge with the surface roads and create bottlenecks. Instead, we should encourage people to use public transport more. And how is the BMC going to set aside so much money for CMP in the first place?” asked transport expert Ashok Datar.
Municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta said, “These are estimates based on the infrastructure needs of the city, for example, for creating missing links. However, the coastal road is going to make up for a lot of these missing links. So expenses will be reduced. Besides, we will make provision for the additional money keeping GST in mind.”
BMC will invest (In Crores)
Other agencies will invest
MMRDA will bear Rs 72,119 crore, BEST will bear 2,774 crore, traffic police will bear Rs 1,360 crore and railway agencies – Central, Western Railways, the Metro, Monorail - will bear 17,892 crore.