The City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO),which is developing the Navi Mumbai International Airport,has completed a scientific study to enhance connectivity to the proposed airport,including proposals for a series of new mass transit corridors.
The state government agency said it intends to offer connectivity from anywhere in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region an area sprawled across more than 4,000 sq km and including far suburbs to Mumbai such as Vasai,Virar,Kalyan,Dombivali,Navi Mumbai and even Karjat and Khopoli to the new airport within a ground travel time of one hour.
A detailed scientific study has been carried out with the help of Lea Associates South Asia Pvt Ltd,a Canadian firm who has carried out the detailed traffic and transportation study for MMR, said a government official. The consultant has studied the various details/proposals and elements required for planning various connectivity options. They have also recommended major corridor requirements in terms of Metro,Rail and Road improvements as well as water transport link to South Mumbai to provide enhanced regional connectivity so as to reach the NMIA from various parts of MMR in about 1 hour’s travel time.
Major road corridors have been identified for improvement,including Aamra Marg,NH-4B,NH-4,Palm Beach Road and the Sion-Panvel Highway. These roads are to be widened and provided with service lanes.
The new mass transit corridors proposed include a Metro Rail from Panvel to the eastern and western suburbs,through Mankhurd,connecting to the first two routes of the Mumbai Metro Rail that are already contracted out.
A metro rail corridor from south Mumbai through Sewri to NMIA is also proposed,along the proposed Mumbai Trans Harbour Link. While tendering for the MTHL is set to begin very soon,the Metro Rail alongside will be kept out of the current contract.
A fast suburban local train corridor (including an airconditioned local train) has been proposed for the harbour line of Central Railway,from Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus to Panvel. A hovercraft system from various points to the NMIA has also been proposed. Both these last two systems have been suggested for expeditious approvals and execution,said sources. An estimated 30,000 passenger trips could use the hovercraft to Navi Mumbai International Airport by 2031,the report states.
A draft report of the consultant’s analysis has sent to various agencies that may be involved in developing this connectivity infrastructure,including the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority,the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation,the Mumbai Port Trust,the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust,the Public Works Department,the Maharashtra State Roads Development Corporation,Central Railway and the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation Ltd.
The NMIA is set to have a capacity of 10 million passengers per annum in Phase I by 2015 and 60 million passengers annually by 2031. CIDCO officials said they expect that a significant improvement in connectivity will be achieved by 2015.