Ashley D’Mello & Chittaranjan Tembhekar, TNNJul 7, 2009, 04.05am IST
MUMBAI: With the 2009 budget pouring 87% more funds into the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) several important projects that can improve road connectivity for Mumbaikars are set to receive a boost. Projects under JNNURM get 35% of the project's cost as a grant from the Centre, with the remaining amount coming from state and local bodies.
Mumbai Trans Harbour Link
Top bureaucrats say the proposed 22-km link, which would connect Sewri to Nhava over Thane creek, could be a major beneficiary even though it is not yet under the JNNURM. "The Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) of the central
government has given its consent to the Maharashtra State Road Development
Corporation (MSRDC) to take up the trans harbour link under the JNNURM,'' said
MSRDC managing director Satish Gavai, who called the development
"positive''. "Now we can move an application to seek over Rs 2,200
crore in assistance from the Centre for the link,'' said Gavai. Ashwini Bhide, joint commissioner of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), which would receive the funds for the Rs 7,000-crore project and forward them to the MSRDC, said, "We will work out the share and bid documents so that they can be forwarded to the DEA for final approval.''
After it failed to receive contract bids for the Sewri-Nhava project in March, the MMRDA decided to develop the link through private participation, for which central and state assistance is needed. Principal secretary (urban development) T C Benjamin confirmed that Rs 2,275 crore would be sought.
The freeway will prove a boon for motorists going between Fort and Chembur. Coming under JNNURM is the 10-km portion stretching between Panjrapole, near Vadala, and Fort. The road will mostly run along the Mumbai Port Trust Road and includes an elevated road.
The project was stuck for some time as permission from port authorities was not forthcoming. They believed that freight traffic would be delayed if the road was opened up. Ultimately, it was decided to have an elevated road.
The remaining section, from Panjrapole to the Chembur-Mankhurd Link Road, will be 2.5 km long.
The 2-km bridge will be a boon for people travelling to and from the airport. The current road, Sahar airport road, was recently widened, but increased traffic is expected in the next few years. Before the widening, there were severe bottlenecks along the stretch. "The overbridge is expected to take care of the increased traffic in the future,'' said MMRDA joint project director Dilip Kawathkar.
Kawathkar added that the boost to JNNURM funds could bring in money for more projects as the Centre is keen on improving Mumbai's infrastructure. The extra funds allocated to JNNURM will make it easier to obtain funding now, he said.