Chief Minister suggests 2013-deadline for MMRDA’s development projects

Ashok Chavan, Chief Minister of the State and Ratnakar Gaikwad, Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA
Ashok Chavan, Chief Minister of the State and Ratnakar Gaikwad, Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA

Mr. Ashok Chavan, Chief Minister of the State, has suggested a 2013 deadline to all development projects, worth rupees one lakh thirteen thousand crores that are being implemented by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA). The Chief Minister has also asked the Authority to concentrate on beautification projects for the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. He was speaking at the meeting, held in Bandra-Kurla Complex, to review various projects taken up by the Authority.

Mr. Ratnakar Gaikwad, Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA, during his detailed presentation to the Chief Minister, highlighted various projects such as Mumbai Urban Infrastructure Project, Mumbai Urban Transport Project, Mithi River Development Project, Resettlement and Rehabilitation Project, Nirmal Abhiyan Project, Marine Drive Beautification Project, Nariman Point Beautification and redevelopment project.

The Mumbai Urban Infrastructure Project required removal of 14,394 encroachments. However, the Authority resettled all these families at different locations in the city. The project included development of 131 k.m.long roads, construction of 270 k.m.long storm water drains and construction of 17 FOBs.

The Authority has also completed construction of 4 out of 14 flyovers in the city and its suburbs. Mr. Gaikwad informed the Chief Minister that the work of remaining unfinished 10 flyovers will also be completed by December 2010.

Mithi River Development Project included widening and deepening of the river. In this respect effective work was carried out in the first phase and now the carrying and holding capacity of the river has been doubled. Should there be another 26th July; Mr. Gaikwad made it clear that the water will recede in four hours instead of 24 hours. The Chief Minister then suggested the Metropolitan Commissioner to make such long term plans that the river water is kept clean and potable and could be used as another water resource in future. He also suggested that Mr. J.P.Dange, the Chief Secretary, to meet the Airport Authority and help solve the issues related to widening of Mithi River within the Airport jurisdiction.

The Authority has been resettling families affected by various projects and has resettled more than thirty six thousand such families.

Nirmal Abhiyan is another ambitious project undertaken by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority. Under the project twenty four thousand toilet seats are to be constructed and more than eleven thousand have already been constructed and handed over to the community based organizations in various Municipal Corporations and Councils. Mr. Gaikwad also informed that another thirteen thousand toilet seats will be constructed by March 2010 and that the project is being appreciated in the Metropolitan Region.

The work on the first Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro Rail route is proceeding on schedule and will be completed by December next. Likewise, the work on Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd, Colaba to Bandra, Charkop to Dahisar, Ghatkopar to Mulund, BKC to Kanjurmarg, Andheri (E) to Dahisar (E), Hutatma Chowk to Ghatkopar and Shivri to Prabhadevi will also be run on schedule and will be completed by 2014, said Mr.Gaikwad.

The Mono Rail project is also heading to completion on schedule and this Chembur-Wadala-Jacob Circle route is expected to be finished by April 2011. In fact, the Mono Rail will be tested on January 26, 2010. The Mono Rail, during peak hours will carry about fifteen hundred passengers. Mono Rail Project will also be implemented on Thane-Bhiwandi-Kalyan-Badalapur route. The project will cost rupees three thousand seven hundred fifty crores.

The expected cost for the Mumbai Urban Transport Project-II is rupees five thousand three hundred crores, said Mr.Gaikwad.

The Authority has taken up various projects to make sure that the travel time from anywhere to anywhere should not exceed one hour. One such project is the Multi Modal Corridor from Virar to Alibaug. Out of the hundred kilometer distance form Virar to Alibaug, sixty kilometer road is to be constructed anew. The project cost is expected to be rupees ten thousand crores.

A plan to beautify and redevelop the Nariman Point area is also ready. And a separate presentation was made to Chief Minister highlighting various aspects of beatification and redevelopment. The area will receive a facelift that will be of world class standard. The Authority has been accorded a special-project-agency status and the expected spend for the project is rupees three thousand five hundred crores.

In order to make sure that the city is slum-free, the rental housing project has been introduced. The ten thousand crore project will be constructing five lakh houses, admeasuring 160 sq. ft. each, in the next five years.

The Metropolitan Commissioner also briefed the Chief Minister on pertinent projects such as Innovation Park and Iconic Tower. Solid Waste Management is yet another issue staring in the face of this city. Considering the importance of its disposal and appropriate treatment, the Chief Minister asked the Metropolitan Commissioner to pay very special attention to the same.

Present for this crucial meeting were; Mr.J.P.Dange, Chief Secretary, Mr.T.C.Bejamin, Principal Secretary to Urban Development Department, Mr. Manu Kumar Shrivastav, Secretary, Mr.U.P.S.Madan, Porject Director, MTSU, Mr. Ajit Kurmar Jain, Principal Secretary to Chief Minsiter, Mr. Nitin Kareer, Secretary, Ms. Ashwini Bhede, Joint Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA and other senior officials.

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