By Ketaki Ghoge www.hindustantimes.com
Road and rail connectivity between Mumbai and the airport to come up at Navi Mumbai is set to improve dramatically by 2015 with high speed air-conditioned trains, a 10-lane highway and even the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link in place. This is what the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO), planning agency for Navi Mumbai, has planned.
As far as the rail project is concerned, the plan is to take airport commuters in express buses to Panvel station where A/C express trains can take them to Mumbai. This is being planned under the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP- III) with funds from the World Bank.
“It’s one of the most feasible options as the harbour line track already exists. We plan to start work by January 2012. Cidco will be made an equity partner of the Mumbai Regional Vikas Corpor-ation to enable speedier execution of the project,” said TC Benjamin, principal secretary, urban development department.
Lee Associates South Asia Private Limited, consultants for CIDCO, submitted a detailed plan for regional transport connectivity to the state government earlier this week. The report will go through another round of consultations with stakeholders before it is finalised.
“The report will go through changes. We are yet to work on detailed timelines, but are looking at completing projects in three phases from 2015 to 2031,” said Tanaji Satre, managing director, CIDCO.
CIDCO’s report has recommended the transport corridors keeping in mind the demand of the passenger trips from and to the airport and overall population in the area in three time slabs — 2016, 2021 and 2031.
According to the consultants, about 60.7 million passengers will use the airport annually by 2031. And, there will be nearly 4.5 lakh trips made daily to the airport.