Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday set ambitious deadlines for showpiece transport-infrastructure projects. He said the Rs 9,000-crore coastal freeway, which he has been pushing for an environment clearance with the Union government, should be completed in two years once all approvals are in place.
“Once we get clearances, we should be able to build the coastal road in two years. World over, much bigger projects have been built in two years. It is possible because the coastal road does not involve much displacement of people,” the chief minister said while speaking at the “Mumbai Next” conclave.
The coastal road will be a 35-km freeway from Nariman Point to Kandivali and is proposed to be built on reclamation and stilts. The freeway will provide much respite to the congested western suburbs. With green norms currently prohibiting reclamation, an environment clearance for the project has been a sticky issue. However, under the BJP-led government at the Centre, the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests has shown willingness to modify norms for the project.
Fadnavis said all approvals for the coastal freeway should be through in the next three months and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) should be in a position to invite tenders.
The chief minister also assured that the first flight from the much-delayed Navi Mumbai International Airport, estimated to cost Rs 14,000 crore, will take off by 2019. The project, being implemented by the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO), recently received four pre-qualification bids.
The 22-km Sewri-Nhava Sheva Trans Harbour Link, which has gone through three failed rounds of tendering, will get under way for implementation this year, Fadnavis said.
The Rs 11,000-crore project is currently being considered by the Japan International Cooperation Agency for financing. The project is now likely to be implemented on a
cash contract model. The harbour link will provide direct access from south Mumbai to the international airport and is expected to open up the mainland for further development.
Speaking at the conference, U P S Madan, metropolitan commissioner at the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), also said the city was likely to get three more Metro corridors in the next seven years. The MMRDA has already called for bids for the Rs 23,136-crore underground Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro and is currently working towards finalizing plans for an underground Dahisar-Bandra-Mankhurd Metro and a partially underground Wadala-Thane-Kasarvadavali line.
Among other promises, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis also assured to ease the number of clearances and waiting time required for repairing heritage building, taking cognizance of the case of the iconic Opera House that has slipped into a decrepit state while awaiting approvals for restoration.
Besides, for the civic body to be able increase its capital outlay towards infrastructure works in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Fadnavis also agreed to allow the BMC to raise funds through external borrowings and municipal bonds.