Four projects worth Rs 2,000 crore (Rs 20 billion) will be undertaken under the Mumbai Urban Infrastructure Project that is to be implemented in three parts by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority's and completed by 2006.
These include the skybus project that entails an elevated light rail transit system between Mumbai's Andheri and Kurla suburbs, elevated roads in the western and eastern suburbs that connect the international airport complex with the western and eastern express highways, construction of subways on the two expressways as well as linking roads between the two, and the construction of a road network around the SEEPZ (Santa Cruz) and MIDC (Andheri) areas.
The projects entail creation of 14 new flyover-bridges, six elevated roads, eight rail over bridges (ROBs) and 15 pedestrian subways.
A total of 52 roads are proposed in the eastern suburbs, including six elevated roads, 10 flyovers, one ROB, 14 pedestrian subways and eight vehicular subways.
For the western suburbs, 60 roads have been identified, including 17 flyovers, seven ROBs, five pedestrian subways and one vehicular subway.
The first phase of the MUIP (to be undertaken in this fiscal) will accord priority to 35 of these roads in the eastern suburbs and 22 in the western suburbs. Work on these will start immediately after the monsoons this year.
The Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry president and developer Niranjan Hiranandani said that: "The MUIP will change the face of Mumbai and help the city acquire infrastructure of international standards. Money is no constraint for implementing the MUIP projects. What we need now is a strong political will."
MCHI honorary secretary Sunil Mantri added that Mumbai provides 40 per cent of the revenues collected by the Central government and 60 per cent of the collections by the state government.
"Improvement (removal of bottlenecks and encroachments) is planned for 250 kms of roads to ensure smooth traffic flow from the eastern suburbs to the west. The inadequacy of east-west connectivity has been a major constraint for the city."
The project also looks at widening existing roads.
The roads to be widened are: The eastern freeway museum right up to the Sewri railway station, the Sewri to BPT pipe-line gate, truck terminal road junction to Anik Panjerpole link, E Moses Road from Worli Naka up to Mahalaxmi Station, Ambedkar Road (Sion to Byculla), Mahim Sion link to Mahim Creek (extension of the Senapati Bapat road) which will be a six lane road.
Mobility of traffic from south to north will also be improved through a road widening exercise. The MUIP will also include the resettlement of 50,000 hutments that are spread over the areas where the road development will take place, according to Mantri.
The Public Works Department of the state government has listed a total of 1,900 encroachments.
In the western suburbs, encroachments are mainly seen in the northern suburbs of Borivali, Malad and Kandivli, especially around the flyovers.
Similarly, for the eastern suburbs, the number of encroachments as per the PWD is about 935, mostly between the Suman Nagar and Amar Mahal junctions.
Apart from upgrading Mumbai's road network, the MUIP also seeks to regulate parking norms in the city after a thorough study to ensure a better road network.
Mumbai's road map after completion of MUIP
- Route to Sahar International Airport to see a marked change when the connecting road between the airport and the western express highway will have a six-lane and a four-lane elevated road.
- A Western relief road from Bandra to Dahisar.
- A link along the sea front between Bandra's Carter Road and Juhu Road to reduce pressure on Linking Road and S V Road.
- Widening and beautification of the western express highway.
- Road widening and flyovers on S V Road at Andheri, Malad, Kandivli and Borivali.
Link between western and eastern suburbs
- Light rail transport between Andheri and Ghatkopar to replace the earlier Sky Bus Metro Project. This is expected to cover the distance in 15 minutes as against the current travel time of 45 minutes to an hour.
- Andheri-Ghatkopar link road with six to eight lanes including an elevated road from Chakala Gurudwara to Saki Naka.
- Jogeshwari-Vikroli Link road project.
- Mulund-Goregaon link road to pass through Aarey Colony instead of Sanjay Gandhi National Park Road.
Improvements in the island city to include:
- Widening of Ambedkar Road and construction of five flyovers on this road.
- Removal of encroachment and construction of pavements on Senapati Bapat Road and E Moses Road.