MMRDA to implement 'walk to work' concept

Feb 02, 2013, 07:56 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav

Planning body wants to encash on projects like monorail, eastern freeway and MTHL to develop Wadala into a business hub by attracting national, international companies

If everything goes well as per the plans chalked out by officials of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), Mumbaikars will soon be able to witness the implementation of a ‘walk to work’ concept. With important transport-related projects like the monorail, the eastern freeway and the MTHL passing through Wadala, MMRDA officials believe that the area will act as an investment magnet for several national and multinational companies.

A test run being conducted for the monorail from Wadala Depot to Mysore Colony. File pic

The MMRDA wants to introduce the concept while developing Wadala, which would be the new business district of the island city, on the lines of Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC). To do so, the developmental body appointed a consultant to prepare a blueprint of the plan for developing 40 hectares in Wadala that belongs to the MMRDA, the special planning authority (SPA) for Wadala.

According to MMRDA Commissioner Rahul Asthana, “We have appointed a reputed private limited company to prepare a detailed master plan for the commercial centre in Wadala.” Apart from being developed commercially, several real estate giants are keen on building residential complexes near Wadala. Some of them have already launched projects in Bhakti Park area. Being the SPA, the MMRDA has a total of 109 hectares of land at its disposal.

Out of these 109 hectares, 81 hectare is developable. While a few portions of the remaining land were auctioned by the MMRDA, new constructions can be seen on the rest. A senior MMRDA official said, “The most important benefit to us is that we can use 4 FSI for development in Wadala.

This will attract more investors and buyers. We want to bring the walk to work concept in India, and Wadala can become an ideal destination for its better implementation, as it will have a better connectivity to other places due the monorail, the Eastern Freeway and the MTHL Bridge.” Sources in the MMRDA said it would take over five years for Wadala to become a full-fledged commercial hub.

What is ‘walk to work’?
It is a concept wherein offices and residential complexes are designed in such a manner that office-goers can walk to work. The concept has been a huge hit in the West as people who stay near their workplaces not only save fuel and time, but are less stressed compared to those who have to travel to reach their workplaces using public or private transport.

The MMRDA wants to implement the concept in Wadala where employees of the companies that would come up in the new business district can walk to their workplaces. Besides, the area will also have markets, malls, dispensaries and playgrounds. 

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