MMRDA at a glance in 2009

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has indeed implemented a few projects, and successfully at that, for the betterment of this vibrant city. “Traveling from the Western suburbs to the Eastern suburbs was an arduous task, to say the least, only a few years ago. Today, with the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road almost complete, the travel time has been reduced to less than thirty minutes!”, said Mr.Ratnakar Gaikwad, Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA. ”It’s also fun to reach Thane from Sion within thirty minutes and similar comfort and ease is experienced while traveling to Borivli from Bandra. Many a road has been widened and constructed under ambitious projects such as Mumbai Urban Transport Project and Mumbai Urban Infrastructure Project”, said Mr.Gaikwad further.

The flyovers – completed as also under construction – are yet another facility to add a spring or two to the movement of vehicular traffic. The flyovers at Airport junction, Dindoshi, Thakur Complex on the Western Express Highway and Navghar Junction on the Eastern Express Highway have been completed. The flyovers at Sion Hospital and Malad Junction are opened partially. Both are scheduled to be opened for traffic fully in January 2010. And what with at least two more flyovers on the Dr Ambedkar Road heading towards completion by December next, its time to say bye-bye to the traffic snarls. Similarly the Elevated Sahar Road, a direct link to International Airport from Western Express Highway, improving connectivity to Mumbai Port will also be completed in 2010. Nearly 50% of the work has already been completed.

The skywalks, is a gift from MMRDA to the Mumbaikars, especially for the school and college going kids and not-so-young ones. It affords a walkway that is encroachment free and accident free. Even the Bombay High court, very recently, observed that “Heavy traffic, crowding of the shops and people is an unending process in this metro city and that the skywalk is an alternative and good substitute for the footpaths” and that the sky-way is a new concept and we are of the opinion that it takes time for the people to get used to the new ways and methods. “I think the resentment is more about the inconvenience caused while the construction is underway, rather than anything else”, said Ms.Ashwini Bhide, Joint Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA. “At the same time, we need study few surveys which indicate that more than 50% people in the city – about 5.5 million – walk on road and this fact necessitates the construction of skywalks in the city as well as its metropolitan region”, said Ms Bhide further. While 10 skywalks have already been opened, fully or partially, for public; the MMRDA will throw open in all 51 skywalks for public by May 2010

The Metro Rail and Mono Rail projects are sure to complement Mumbaikars’ commute. Both the projects will reduce the burden as far as the Western and Central local trains are concerned. While the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro route will provide one more connectivity between the Western and Eastern Suburbs, the Mono Rail on Chembur-Wadala-Jacob Circle route will provide an alternative to the commuters from the Eastern suburbs. “I am sure; once the Metro and Mono Rail is operational we will witness a shift from private transport to pubic transport as the both would be affordable, comfortable, risk free and environment friendly. Yes, I quite agree that the public at large is put to inconvenience. However, I would earnestly request them to support us in developing infrastructure that will solve their commuting woes and, in return, promise them that the inconvenience will be temporary, and, the comfort, permanent”, said Mr. SVR Srinivas, Additional Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA. The first Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro Rail as also the first corridor of India’s first Mono Rail from Chembur to Wadala will be commissioned in December 2010. The second corridor from Wadala to Jacob Circle is scheduled to be completed in the year 2011.The feasibility study for the Thane-Bhiwandi-Kalyan Mono Rail route is being conducted too and is expected to be completed within three months.

Another remarkable achievement for the MMRDA has been the construction of 11,000 toilet seats under the Nirmal Ahbiyan Project in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. The MMRDA kick started this project in the year 2008 and planned to construct in all 24,000 toilet seats. The remaining 13,000 toilet seats are scheduled to be constructed by March 2010.

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