If everything falls into place as per the plans chalked out by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Auth-ority (MMRDA), then motorists will be able to travel directly from Borivli to Gorai in about five minutes.
MMRDA officials claimed once both the bridges are built, it will offer locals proper access to Mumbai. And also to tourists visiting the weekend destinations such as EsselWorld, Global Pagoda and Manori
It has been learnt that the MMRDA has renewed its interest to construct a bridge (1.2 km long) over Gorai Creek to connect Borivli and EsselWorld — a major tourist attraction — helping motorists cover the distance in just a few minutes rather than taking the existing 45-minute-long detour via Mira Road and Bhayander. Besides, plans are also being made to construct a similar bridge (1.1-km-long) between Marve and Manori.
Speaking to mid-day, MMRDA Commissioner UPS Madan said, “The local representatives have shown keen interest in the development of the bridges and so we will build them. We would soon be appointing a consultant for preparing the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for both the bridges and their construction will be completed in the next three years.”
Currently, commuters and tourists travelling to EsselWorld and Manori either rely on ferries or take the road, which is a longer route. Even the locals rue improper access to Mumbai, particularly in times of medical emergencies. Moreover, inadequate connectivity has adversely impacted the quality and quantity of civic services offered by the BMC and the MBMC in the region, especially solid waste management.
“Once the bridges are built, it will offer locals proper access to Mumbai. Also, tourists visiting these weekend destinations [EsselWorld, Manori and Global Pagoda] will save on fuel and time,” said an MMRDA official. “Since the Manori-Bhayander route is the only entry and exit point, it is a cause of concern. Traffic congestion is witnessed when motorists passes through tiny village settlements.”
Stating that the bridges were the need of the hour, another MMRDA official claimed the existing jetties were underdeveloped and acted as mere access points.
“Ferries operating here are low-end, making commuting an unpleasant experience. But considering the population growth and tourist influx in the coming decade, it is necessary to connect both the areas to Mumbai,” the official added.
Protests were held in 2009 and 2012 after MMRDA invited expressions of interest for designing and constructing the bridges. In 2009, former petroleum minister Ram Naik had led a delegation of angry locals, opposing any infrastructure projects in the region, to the MMRDA office. Later, during the 2012 protest, residents claimed that a bridge over the Marve-Manori Creek would adversely impact mangrove forests and fishing activity in the region.
In the past, locals had also opposed formation of a Special Economic Zone and a solid waste recycling plant in the area, following which the recycling plant was relocated to Ghodbunder Road near Versova.
Also, acquisition of land to increase the width of the road leading up to the bridges and rehabilitation of Project Affected People (PAPs) are a few of the challenges the state-led development body will have to overcome to execute the projects.
45mins Current time taken to travel to EsselWorld from Borivli via road
5mins Time needed once the new bridge is constructed
90mins Time taken by commuters to travel from Marve to Manori via road at present
5mins Time required upon completion of the bridge