In a major infrastructure development, the City and Industrial development Corporation (Cidco) has released its Mass Rapid Transportation master plan, which proposes to connect the Navi Mumbai Metro rail corridor to Mumbai's second Metro line terminating at Mankhurd.
Besides the ongoing suburban rail project between Seawoods and Nhava, Cidco will develop a Metro line up to Uran from Seawoods, with the MMRDA and the Cidco taking both the Metro and suburban corridors up to Sewree from Nhava respectively. The proposed route — Belapur-Kharghar-Taloje-MIDC-Kalamboli-Khandeshar — is to be extended up to the proposed Navi Mumbai international airport.
The project costing Rs4,163 crore will be implemented in three phases and executed mostly with Cidco funds. For operation and maintenance of its most ambitious project, the agency will generate funds from advertisements, rental of commercial premises and ticket sales. Commercial exploitation of land by way of (leasing/renting) will be done at four stations and depot locations, for which it has already earmarked about 65 hectares. Earlier, on September 30, 2010, the state government had authorised Cidco as the implementing agency for the MRT system, which includes maintenance of the Belapur- Pendhar-Kalamboli-Khandeshwar station Metro rail corridor, as per the Tramway Acts 1886.
The first phase construction, from Belapur to Pendhar, will involve a total length of 11.10 km with 10 railway stations, viz. Belapur railway station, Sector-7 Belapur, Science Park, Utsav Chowk, Sector-14, Central Park, Pethapada, Sector-34, Panchnand and Pendhar at an approximate cost of Rs1,984 crore.
The second phase, in which a total of 8.35 km, between Khandeshwar and Taloje MIDC would be built at the cost of approximately Rs1,605 crore, will have seven railway stations, including Khandeshwar railway station, Sector-10 Kamothe, Sector-2E Kalamboli, Sector-7E Kalamboli, Sector-10E Kalamboli, Kasadi and two railway stations in the MIDC area.
Under Phase-III expected to cost Rs574 crore, the two corridors shall be joined together between Pendhar and MIDC by a 2.2-km link, thus forming a loop from Belapur to Khandeshwar.
While the above work of the first corridor is expected to be completed in five years, along with the completion of the first phase of the proposed international airport, the construction work of Line 2 and 3 will be taken up simultaneously after a few months and is expected to be over in 2016.
Given the fast pace of development in the satellite city, the master plan has stressed on the need for a major review in cases of a massive change in the land-use pattern and the international airport plan being approved. M/s LEE Associates, Canada, which has been awarded the consultancy contract to review the master plan and suggest new airport connectivity with Mumbai by various transport modes, has submitted a draft report whose recommendations are being examined by the Mumbai Transformation Support Unit.
According to the Cidco plan, of the six corridors Vashi-Nerul-Panvel, Dighe-Turbhe-Belapur, Ranjanpada-Karkopar-Seawoods and Vashi-Ghansoli-Mahape have less commuter density and would need a review in 2015. Nerul-Uran, which is a Metro corridor, will now have a suburban corridor, considering its connectivity with Mumbai Metro.
While recommending that rail-based MRT corridor Belapur-Pendhar-Khandeshwar-proposed international airport only as a potentially developable corridor for now, the study states the fast-developing areas in this corridor are expected to fetch additional premium on land price, thus supplementing part of the construction cost. If considered, the Mansarovar-Taloja suburban is comparatively far from the human settlement while the proposed Metro passes through the settlement to serve residents, whose density is adequate enough to make the project a viable one.