Several projects at conception and take off stage, are set to ease traffic bottlenecks and increase connectivity in the city
Mumbaikars have got used to the never-never-if-ever land of infrastructure projects. Many projects which one hears about, simply never get off the ground or are derailed at some stage or the other.
Having said that, there have been infrastructure and transport initiatives that have alleviated commuting woes in the city.
Instead of looking at the dark thunderclouds on the horizon, it is time to look at the silver lining too. Some projects are ready for take off, or even at conception stage currently, look to brighten up life and commuting strife for the city.
BEND IT LIKE BWSL: The future plan is to link the BKC with the Sea Link, improving overall connectivity and mitigating some of the pressure at the Bandra Kurla hub. Pic/Shadab Khan
Watch out for this
MONORAIL AND HEARTY: The coming phases, especially the Wadala to Jacob Circle phase is set to change the commuterscape in certain pockets of the city. Pic/Sameer Markande
Monorail phase-2 operational by mid-2016
In the coming years, the first big-ticket project that Mumbaikars would be able to benefit from is the Phase-2 of the monorail between Jacob Circle and Wadala. MMRDA officials are confident that the civil construction along the corridor will be completed by early next year, after which a retired Commissioner of Railway Safety will inspect the line before it is thrown open. Opening of the Phase-2 between Jacob Circle and Wadala is huge, because this means that commuters will be able to travel directly travel from Jacob Circle to Chembur. This also means that the problem of fewer commuters using the monorail will be solved. Transport experts opine that when the entire Jacob Circle-Wadala Chembur corridor will be opened there will be a substantial increase in people using the monorail on the whole.
METRO MOVES: A larger and broader based Metro network is on the cards. Pic/Satyajit Desai
We’re going underground
Look out for the Metro corridor, for which construction is set to begin soon. Mumbaikars can expect to see the start of construction for the underground Colaba Bandra Seepz Metro line III along with the elevated Dahisar Charkop Bandra Mankhurd, Andheri East–Dahisar (1801 km) Metro along the Western Express Highway and also the Seepz–Kanjur Marg (10.50) Metro corridor. The Seepz–Kanjur Marg Metro line will be integrated with the Colaba-Bandra Seepz underground Metro line III at Seepz. The construction of Wadala-Ghatkopar-Thane-Kasarvadaval.
LOCAL LOAD SHEDDING: Need to ease the burden on the Railways. Pic/Satyajit Desai
One flew over
The MMRDA has approved four flyovers and a road to clear the daily rush-hour traffic chaos in the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC). According to a recent survey, every hour on an average more than 12,000 cars crowd the BKC junction. This traffic problem can be solved by constructing four flyovers and a road.
There will be a flyover each to reach the Sea Link from BKC and to BKC from the Sea Link. The motorists, who at present, get stuck in traffic at Kalanagar while coming from Dharavi, will also get the benefit of the flyovers. The total length of these two two-lane flyovers is 1,888 meters. The flyover running from Dharavi towards Western Express Highway (WEH) will join the flyover running from BKC at the second level and there will be a three-lane flyover connecting the flyover reaching WEH. This flyover is 2,920m long. The authority has also sanctioned construction of a 300-meter long and 12-feet wide road running through the government land to streamline the traffic from Dharavi to the Sea Link. The cost for constructing four flyovers and a road is estimated at Rs 227 crore.
Another important project is the BKC-EEH (Eastern Express Highway) elevated road which is also known as the BKC- Chunna Bhatti connector. Once completed, this Rs 200 crore elevated connector will help motorists coming from the Eastern suburbs to reach the BKC quickly. Currently, motorists take more than 30 minutes to reach BKC from Chunabhatti as they get stuck in traffic near Sion Circle and on the Sion Dharavi Link Road too. Once the construction of the 1.6 km long connector is complete, motorists will be able to reach BKC from EEH near Chunabhatti in less than 10 minutes.
Gobsmacked, it’s PACKED: Infrastructure projects linked to transport will ease road woes. Pic/Sameer Markande
Sea-ing is believing
One of the more ambitious projects of the Chief Minster Devendra Fadnavis headed MMRDA is the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) project, which ,once completed will be the biggest sea bridge in the country. MTHL connects Sewri in the island city to Nhava in Navi Mumbai. The link is 22 km long with a 16.5 km long bridge across Mumbai harbour and a 5.5 km long viaduct approaches on the Sewri and Nhava sides. The Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has shown interest in providing financial support to the ambitious Mumbai Trans Harbour Link project of MMRDA, that would connect Sewri with Nhava Sheva. A leading Chinese company has also shown keen interest in providing technical assistance for MTHL. The Rs 11,000 crore project is an important one for the overall development of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR).
The project, once completed would be the fourth longest in the world after the 36-km Hangzhou Bay bridge in China, the 32-km Donghai Bridge in China and the 26-km King Fahd Causeway linking Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Interchanges are proposed at Sewri to connect to Eastern Freeway and at Chirle to connect to the NH 4B to facilitate traffic dispersal. The project involves construction of the longest sea bridge yet in the country. The Govt. is in talks with JICA and if everything goes well and according to plan, construction of the MTHL would begin by next year.
This brings us to the Sewri-Worli connector, which is the 4.5-km long elevated corridor from Sewri to Worli providing east-west connectivity to the city traffic and, primarily, easing traffic dispersal from and to the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link. The Sewri-Worli elevated corridor will have two lanes each for up ‘n’ down traffic. The Rs 455.60-crore project will begin at the Narayan Hardikar Marg at Worli and meet the MTHL at its Sewri interchange near Sewri Railway Station.
During the course, the elevated corridor will cross Western and Central Railway at Elphinstone Road Railway Station and Harbour Rail Line at Sewri. The corridor is also expected to provide some relief to city traffic. The elevated corridor is expected to be ready within 48 months from the award of the work. The contract is expected to be awarded by this year end.
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