The BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has announced that 58 per cent of the Rs 12,000-crore showpiece Mumbai Coastal Road (MCR) project on the south side has been completed, here on Wednesday, and it will be operational by November 2023.
The work on the pet project of the erstwhile Maha Vikas Aghadi government’s former Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray started during the lockdown period in 2020 after clearing all legal and technical hurdles.
Of the total 111 hectares land required for the project, 107 hectares — or 97 per cent — land has been reclaimed from the Arabian Sea, and 70 per cent of the work on the sea-wall is also done.
From the total reclaimed land, 70 hectares shall be utilised for creating public spaces and amenities, 26.50 hectares will go for building the inter-changes on the project and 14.50 hectares for building a sea-wall to protect the coastal road from the lashing sea-waves.
Similarly, of the 175 mono-piles to be constructed under the bridges, 70 — or 40 per cent — have been built so far on the 10.58 km-long road.
The MCR comprises twin tunnels of 2.07 km of which one from Priyadarshini Park to Netaji Subhash Marg is ready and the work on the other tunnel is almost 40 per cent completed.
On completion of the south phase, an additional 8.50 km long and 20-metre wide sea promenade will be available to the city, along with attractions like a biodiversity park, a butterfly garden, landscaping, recreational facilities like cycle tracks, open-air theatres, seating for tourists, toilets plus underground parking lot for over 1,800 vehicles.
Currently, the Marine Drive – also popular as the Queen’s Necklace – is the longest promenade in the city running around 3.60 km.
The MCR will serve as the ‘vital link’ for the proposed 44-km long Coastal Road extension from Versova to Virar (Palghar), which in turn would be linked with the upcoming Rs 1 lakh crore Delhi-Mumbai Expressway, which is nearly two-thirds completed.
Last fortnight, in Mumbai, Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari made the offer to build this section, and urged the state government to waive off taxes on steel and cement to be used for the projects.
The Minister said that it was his dream to ensure seamless connectivity from the national capital to the commercial capital with a travel time of just 12 hours through a network of expressway, the coastal road and sea-link at a total cost of around Rs 50,000 crore.
The MVA’s pre-feasibility study envisages the 8-lane sea-link bridge with connectors at Kandivali, Uttan, Vasai and Virar, slashing the travel time from Virar to south Mumbai from the existing three-and-half hours to barely one hour.