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Mumbai: Big Steps in Infrastructure in 2009

The new year will be a busy one for the infrastructure sector as some prestigious projects finally see completion and with others scheduled to take off. The much touted Bandra-Worli Sealink, an urban haat in Navi Mumbai on the lines of Dilli Haat, eight flyovers on the Western and Eastern express highways and 50 skywalks are expected to be ready in 2009.

But it will be a mixed bag for Mumbai’s infrastructure agencies as public toilets under Nirmal Abhiyan and projects like rental housing would be only partly ready before the year ends.

Bandra-Worli Sealink

The long-awaited Bandra-Worli Sealink is expected to be commissioned by March 2009. The Rs 1306-crore link is 6 km long and commences from the Mahim interchange (intersection of the Western Express highway and S V Road at Bandra) and ends at Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan Road in Worli.

The flyover at Love Grove Junction in Worli, Cloverleaf Interchange at Mahim intersection, the solid approach road from Mahim interchange up to the start of the toll plaza at Bandra and the public promenade is complete.

Crucial work on construction of cable-stayed bridges with viaduct approaches extending from Bandra to Worli, is also done, except part of the sea-link towards the Worli end. The project is being implemented by the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) through contracting agency Hindustan Construction Company (HCC).

Prompted by concerns about traffic dispersal towards the Worli end of the link, the MSRDC has adopted several measures like construction of steel car decks, widening of roads and trimming landscapes on the dividing lanes and footpaths to accommodate the huge traffic expected to hit Worli.

 

The landmark project will hopefully decongest the North-South corridor and avoid bottlenecks at Mahim causeway. It will bring down fuel consumption, besides reducing accidents, lowering carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide levels and noise pollution.

However, since it is part of the Western freeway up to Nariman Point, which is still at the ideation stage, the sealink will create bottlenecks at the Worli end. Temporary solutions like Peddar Road flyover wont work, say experts, blaming the government for delaying the sea link sections from Worli to Haji Ali, from Haji Ali to Priyadarshini Park, from Priyadarshini Park to Malabar Hills and Malabar Hills to Nariman Point.

Revenue generation: Revenues are expected to be generated through toll and advertisement rights.

Skywalks

Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) expects to complete all 50 skywalks at different railway stations across the city. But though the deadline is August 2009, the administration expects to complete them only by the end of 2009. While 34 skywalks are being built by MMRDA, 14 are being constructed by the MSRDC. Of the remaining two, the one at Kalyan station will be built by the Kalyan Dombivali Municipal Corporation (KDMC) and another will be built by Western Railways. An amount of Rs 600 crore has been allocated for construction of the skywalks.

The MMRDA also plans to extend the skywalk between Bandra station (East) and Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) via Kalanagar, to Bharat Diamond Bores in BKC and Khar road junction from Anant Kanekar Marg.

Some stations where skywalks will come up are CST, Churchgate, Vasai, Kalyan, Dombivali, Kanjurmarg, Borivali, Dadar, Byculla, Bandra, Parel, Lokmanya Tilak Terminus, Virar, Sion, Kurla, Andheri, Mahim, Ghatkopar, Mulund, Masjid, Chinchpokli, Matunga, GTB, Wadala, Sewri, Kings Circle, Malad, Goregaon, Lower Parel, Elphinston, Grant Road, Mahalaxmi, Mumbai Central, Charni Road, Kandivli, Thane, Vikhroli and a few others.

The skywalks will streamline pedestrian movement from suburban stations to nearby areas. Moreover, vendors will be allotted small areas inside to decongest roads leading to the stations. But politicians are rallying to take credit, especially when the issue of allotment of cubicles to vendors on the skywalk and its overall design comes up for discussion.
Revenue generation: Revenues are expected to come from taxes on vendors and advertising rights.

FLYOVERS

In a significant change from projects that seemed to take forever, signboards stating the date of commissioning of some flyovers have come up across the city.

Jan 26: A sign put up at the Santacruz airport junction flyover, part of which is
already in use (from Kherwadi towards Andheri), promises commissioning of the remaining half on January 26. The Thakur Complex flyover is also expected to be opened on Republic Day.

May 31: The flyover being constructed near Times of India building, Malad, will be completed on May 31, says the board at the construction site.

Jun 30: The much-delayed Suman Nagar flyover on Eastern Express highway will be commissioned on June 30, reveals the signboard.

Nov 09: The flyover planned at Navghar junction on Eastern Express highway near Mulund (E), which cost Rs 12.50 crore, began in May 2008 and will be completed by November 2009.

2009 end: Work on a flyover and a subway at Burfiwallah lane on SV Road (cost Rs 53 crore), which began in June 2006, is also expected to be completed by the end of 2009. The two steel car decks at the Worli end of the sealink may get ready if environmental clearances come in early, say MMRDA sources. Similarly, construction of the flyover between Tulpule square and Kings Circle and the one at Sion hospital junction is expected to be completed by 2009, though some officials say the last one may be a tall order.

Rental Housing

The first phase of an ambitious plan to create 1 lakh rental housing tenements within the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, to check the the city’s slum menace, may be completed by 2009-end. MMRDA officials say the owners of Nirmal Lifestyle Mall are coming up with 34,000 tenements in Dombivali, of which 5,000 blocks will be ready in 2009. Dhanashree Developers will also build 34,000 rental tenements in Vasai and may have some ready next year. Rentals of these tenements will be a minimum of 1200 to 1500 per month and may increase every year by 5 to 10 per cent. There will also be schemes to enable those interested to buy the tenements after some years.

Nirmal Bharat Public Toilet Scheme

As part of a plan to create 30,000 public toilets in the MMR, the MMRDA awarded contracts for building nearly 20,000 toilets and expects all to be completed in 2009. Most of the toilet blocks, whose building and maintenance contracts have been awarded to leading NGOs, are coming up in various urban pockets like Thane, Kalyan, Dombivali, Mira-Bhayander, Vasai-Virar among others.

MAJOR ROADS

MMRDA has so far completed nearly 80 per cent of road-widening and beautification work on Eastern Express Highway (EEH), Western Express Highway (WEH), and Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link road (JVLR), except a 1.8 km stretch near IIT, Powai. It expects to finish widening on EEH and WEH and development of JVLR by May 2009. An MMRDA spokesman said EEH and WEH, which have been expanded to 14 lanes including service roads with new footpaths, bus stops and streetlights, will be handed back to the Public Works Department, the original owners of these two major arterial roads of Mumbai.

Urban Haat

The Navi Mumbai Haat, coming up on a four-acre land at Belapur for an initial cost of Rs 2.1 crore, is 90 per cent complete and can be inaugurated anytime in 2009,
according to City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) sources. The Navi Mumbai project is being funded directly by the Union textile ministry, which is sharing 70 per cent of the estimated cost. The remaining cost will be borne by CIDCO. The haat will use non-conventional energy and have a rain-water harvesting system.

Original article here.

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