CM roots for coastal road, says sea links impractical

Sounding a virtual death knell for capital intensive sea link projects in Mumbai, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan told the Maharashtra Assembly that such projects were "impractical" and that he would push for the coastal road project in Mumbai.

Chavan was replying to a discussion initiated by BJP MLA Mangal Prabhat Lodha on steps being taken to improve transportation network in the city. Lodha demanded that the Haji Ali-Nariman Point Sea Link be started at the earliest.

"Though the Centre has not given an environmental nod to the coastal road project, I will pursue it with the Centre. I will also take up all projects that need environmental clearance," Chavan said. The CM has been an avid proponent of the coastal road project. He is of the opinion that this project is cheaper than the sea links proposed by the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC).

The CM had had appointed a committee in 2012 under the then Municipal commissioner Subodh Kumar on the coastal road. In its report, the Joint Technical Committee said the government should build a 35.6-km coastal freeway between Nariman Point and Kandivali to ease traffic congestion to some extent.

The committee comprising experts and officials proposed that the Rs 10,000-crore project should consist of roads built on reclaimed land as well as stilts, bridges and tunnels. It also ruled against building any more sea links and pointed out that the coastal road would help save Rs 12,000 crore of public money.

Chavan said the idea of a Bus Rapid Transport System (BRTS) in Mumbai was also "impractical". The BRTS plan envisages setting aside a separate lane for BEST buses close to the median to allow them to ply faster.

The project has, however, been deemed impractical. The system also envisaged setting up bus stops on the median and getting in new buses which have doors on their right.

Route Plans

SEA LINKS

Four sea links were planned as part of the plan to connect the North and South ends of Mumbai

The completed Bandra Worli Sea Link is part of the chain of sea links

Nariman Point-Haji Ali, Worli-Haji Ali and Bandra-Versova are yet to be constructed

At present, the cumulative cost of these sea links is pegged at Rs 20,000 crore

COASTAL ROAD

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, on the advice of experts, in 2011 asked MSRDC to think of building coastal roads instead of capital intensive sea links

Chavan appointed a committee in 2012 under the then Municipal commissioner Subodh Kumar

The committee, in its report, said the government should build a 35.6-km coastal freeway between Nariman Point and Kandivali

The panel proposed that the Rs 10,000-crore project should consist of roads built on reclaimed land as well as stilts, bridges and tunnels

It ruled against building any more sea links, saying a coastal road would help save Rs 12,000 crore of public money

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