Worli-Sewri elevated corridor: Five companies submit bids

October 19, 2013

Express News Service : Mumbai,

The plan for an elevated road between Worli and Sewri to boost east-west connectivity in the island city got a boost Friday, with five engineering companies submitting bids for construction of the corridor.

The companies that have submitted bids for the 4.5-km elevated road are Larsen & Toubro, Hindustan Construction Company, Gammon India, Simplex Infrastructure and National Construction Company.

“We have opened the technical bids. We will need around two weeks to evaluate the proposals after which we will open the financial tenders. The evaluation of the financial bids will take another two weeks,” said an official from MMRDA.

The construction of the Worli-Sewri elevated road, which will cost around Rs 490 crore, is likely to begin early next year and will take nearly four years to be completed. The project will require the rehabilitation of around 800 families living along the alignment of the road. The corridor will begin at Narayan Hardikar Marg in Worli and end near Sewri railway station.

MMRDA had originally planned the Worli-Sewri corridor primarily as a connector to the showpiece Sewri-Nhava Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) for traffic to make the sea-link across the Mumbai harbour accessible to the western suburbs. However, the 22-km harbour link project saw a setback earlier this year when not even a single company responded to MMRDA’s call for price bids to construct the harbour link in public private partnership mode, though five consortia were shortlisted.

MMRDA has decided to go ahead with the elevated road project, as it could benefit the city even as a standalone project.



3 flyovers to reduce traffic on GB road

October 19, 2013

Manoj Badgeri, TNN |


THANE: If all goes according to the plan, then the Ghodbunder stretch could find three more flyovers at Anand Nagar, Kasarwadawli and Ovala junctions.The plan apparently is to pave way for outbound traffic towards Borivli. and also make the stretch free for movement of city-traffic.

The proposal will soon be presented to chief minister Prithviraj Chavan for its implementation.

A delegation, including Thane guardian minister Ganesh Naik and MP Dr Sanjeev Naik, met the deputy chief minister to highlight the demands of Thane city last Tuesday. The meet was atended by MMRDA metropolitan commissioner U P S Madaan and MSRDC officials. MSRDC officials said that the proposal was floated by the guardian minister and they are yet to finalise it. “The flyovers will roughly cost around Rs 75 crore. Each of these flyovers would be around 150m long with four lanes (two lanes on each side).

“There is a long standing demand for these flyovers in the area that witnesses severe traffic snarls,” said MP Dr Sanjeev Naik, who was present at the meeting. Presently, there are three flyovers over busy junctions at Manpada, Patlipada and Waghbil. that cut down travel time of outbound traffic considerably as they bypass these choc-a-bloc junctions.

Residents and motorists said the same will ease traffic considerably.

“Once you cross the Majiwada junction, travelling is comfortable. The problem starts only from Anand Nagar to Ovala where traffic has to halt at signals,” said Bhavesh Shah, who travels to Bhayender for work daily.

Dr Dnyandev Daki who stays at Kasarvadavli said the stretch is prone to heavy traffic during the peak hours. “With heavy traffic criss crossing the stretch, local residents are inconvenienced. It takes considerable time to cross the signal and reach home. A flyover here would greatly ease the congestion,” he says.

Rakhi Patil, another resident said an elevated road right from Anand Nagar to Ovala would also greatly help free the stretch for local traffic. “The city is expanding and one needs space to accommodate local vehicles on the roads,” she said.

The long standing proposal was presented by Thane guardian minister Ganesh Naik at a meeting with the deputy chief minister on Tuesday.

“I will follow up with the chief minister for fast implementation of these projects,” said deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar.

Mumbai lags behind other Indian cities in infrastructure

October 11, 2013

By Rachita Prasad, ET Bureau |


“Mumbai lacks the political push that’s needed for these projects, while the government and state agencies in other cities are collectively working on clearing logjam on the ground so that they can expedite infrastructure projects,” an expert said.<br /><br /><br /><br />

(“Mumbai lacks the political push that’s needed for these projects, while the government and state agencies in other cities are collectively working on clearing logjam on the ground so that they can expedite infrastructure projects,” an expert said.)

MUMBAI: Vinayak Thakur, a foreign exchange dealer with a UK-based investment bank, has lived in Delhi, Hyderabad, and Mumbai and currently resides in Bangalore. Looking back, he thinks the city of dreams, with its creaky infrastructure, is a nightmare.

With many cities such as Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore and even relatively sleepy Jaipur rapidly modernising and developing swanky metro lines to ferry people, Mumbaikars, barring the privileged few who live and work in South Mumbai or posh pockets of some suburbs, are beginning to feel left behind. “Mumbai was the city where careers were made earlier, so people were ready to struggle everyday in the trains or fight the traffic on roads. Now other cities offer growth opportunity and have better infrastructure, so why would I want to live in Mumbai,” Thakur says.

The metropolis that once dreamed of becoming a global financial hub and outshining Shanghai offers choked roads, multitudes living in slums, and people taking jam-packed trains to their office that may be in a shiny tower in the middle of a dirty, low-lying locality.

Civic authorities admit there is chaos on the roads. “City suffers from serious traffic congestion with the average speed on major city roads being less than 15 km per hour. Due to lack of availability of land it is difficult to expand the road network and local trains are already overloaded, so building of a mass rapid transit system is the need of the hour,” Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority said after tying up funding for metro line III.

The city has built flyovers, a sea link that bypasses jammed roads on way from the airport to south Mumbai, and recently commissioned 16.8 km Eastern Freeway. But it hasn’t kept pace with demand and the congested city where land is scarce, has lagged behind other Indian cities in developing mass rapid transport despite grand plans. “The strategic planning done for Mumbai has been technically very impressive.

Agencies like MMRDA have explored all options, taken all factors into consideration and planned ambitious projects, whether it is a sea link or metro rail. The problem is that the pace of development is slow that it is leading to despair,” said Vinayak Chatterjee, chairman and co-founder of infrastructure consultancy firm Feedback Infrastructure.

Shobhaa De, author, columnist and a Mumbai resident, says, “We can’t speak of Mumbai in the same breath as London, Singapore or Dubai! We are resolutely in the Third World. Fifty years behind the others. Even Colombo has better expressways!”

A 2012 study conducted by global consultant Mercer on quality of living in Asia-Pacific ranked Mumbai 134 among 221 cities, Mumbai, however, was ahead of other Indian cities surveyed. But many experts believe other cities are beginning to race ahead.

While Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, and even cities like Ahmedabad and Jaipur are adding new transport infrastructure, several mega projects in Mumbai haven’t moved beyond the blueprints. Some projects like the Rs 2,500-crore Mumbai Metro Line 1, and the Rs 2,500-crore Monorail projects faced hiccups due to delay in environment clearances, relocation of religious structures and issues relating to right of way, are nearing completion now. But the second phase of metro rail, extension of Bandra-Worli Sealink, new routes of monorail, Navi Mumbai international airport and the ambitious Mumbai trans-harbour link project which are critical to reduce the pressure on the city’s existing infrastructure have not taken off.

“Mumbai lacks the political push that’s needed for these projects, while the government and state agencies in other cities are collectively working on clearing logjam on the ground so that they can expedite infrastructure projects,” Chatterjee said.

Metro Line 1 took seven years before trial runs began in May this year. In contrast, Jaipur’s metro project, helped by the Delhi Metro, took only three years.

“It is not easy to build infra projects in Mumbai. The city is very dense. There are issues like litigation that causes delays. These delays have resulted in huge cost escalation and now many problems have been created because of this,” Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said last month. Indeed, Mumbai has its own problems.

Mumbai lags behind other Indian cities in infrastructure

The trans-harbour link project didn’t get any bids as developers had concerns over the financial viability of the project. The second phase of metro faces termination due to disputes between the state and Reliance Infrastructure. “The developer in Metro I project is asking for a major hike in tariff and advertising rights. We are not sure how this will work out. One option is to go into arbitration and the other is to negotiate. If it gets worse, we may think of even taking over the metro project. It is now clear that Mumbai’s Metro II project will not happen now,” Chavan said.

Experts say Mumbai faces a bigger challenge of bureaucracy, land acquisition and approvals than other cities because often there are conflicting views from within the government. A senior executive from an infrastructure conglomerate says, “For the ruling political parties, Mumbai is very strategic and important and often the two parties have different views on infrastructure projects. As a result the project suffers”. Another infrastructure executive says, “Sometimes we wonder if MMRDA and BMC work for the same city!”

The Congress-NCP government, which has ruled Maharashtra for three terms now, have often been at loggerheads over several projects in the past, some of which have eventually been scrapped. For instance, a feud between the NCP-led Public Works Department and the MMRDA and Urban Development department, both of which are led by Congress, has derailed several projects, including the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link, industry executives say.

“Executing a project in a congested city like Mumbai is not easy as we don’t even get the land needed to set up site office and store our construction material. Also, it is very difficult to set up labour camps near the site,” said a senior executive heading a big infrastructure project. “We have even faced problems relating to migrant labours who are now choosing to work in other cities, which are affordable and where they don’t face discrimination.”

But Chavan believes that private players are shying away from projects in Mumbai, primarily because of the “economic slowdown and the lack of confidence among private players…We may be facing a difficult situation for some time to come but it is our attempt to instil a sense of confidence among the private players,” he said. Chatterjee of Feedback Ventures suggests that Mumbai needs to be developed on similar lines as Manhattan, the island city where the business hub is connected to the satellite cities through bridges, rail and road. “Mumbai needs a network of metro, elevated rail and bridges connecting the hinterland to the city so that the population spreads out evenly and eases the pressure on the city’s infrastructure.”

Manhattan or Shanghai may be a distant dream. Given how Mumbai is losing time, it may be left behind other Indian cities if new infrastructure projects don’t move on from blueprints to reality.



MMRDA signs MoU with Korea government

October 11, 2013

By Rachita Prasad, ET Bureau

Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Korea's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.<br /><br />

(Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Korea’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.)


Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Korea’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport for preparing a master plan for developing eastern parts of the metropolitan region.The plan would look at developing the 126-km long Virar-Alibaug Multi-Modal Corridor, which was highly recommended by the Comprehensive Transportation Study conducted by the MMRDA and funded by the World Bank.

“We are sure that the Virar-Alibaug corridor which passes through the eastern part of Mumbai metropolitan region will trigger urbanization along the corridor and a master plan for the areas around this corridor will be necessary for its orderly development. The study will also identify growth centers which will afford stability to the spill-over areas”, Ashwini Bhide, additional metropolitan commissioner, MMRDA, was quoted as saying in the release.

The Korean team will share best practices with MMRDA’s planners and work out a detailed master plan and land development models along with funding patterns beginning January 1, 2014. The plan, development models and the funding patters will then be submitted to the state government, for approval, within a period of one year.

The study will be financed by the Korean Government and will also involve training of high level officials of MMRDA. The study will enable MMRDA approach global funding agencies such as World Bank and Japanese Cooperation Agency (JICA) for funding of the project.

“The Korean model of land use development has faced similar constraints as are being faced in India and could be suitably modified and used in developing the eastern Mumbai metropolitan region, especially around the Multi-Modal Corridor. By roping in the Korean expertise and best practices we will be able to use the land itself as a resource to fund our infrastructure requirements”, said Bhide.


​Dharavi-to-sea link bypass to beat jams

October 9, 2013

Manthan K Mehta, TNN |

MUMBAI: In a relief for thousands of motorists who get stuck in traffic at Kalanagar junction in Bandra (east) every day, the city’s development planning agency has hit upon an out-of-the-box solution.The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has proposed to build a two-lane bypass over PWD land to connect traffic from Dharavi T-junction to the Bandra-Worli Sea Link approach road for faster dispersal of vehicles. It will soon submit the proposal to the public works department for approval.

“The bypass is being proposed on the land where the PWD offices are located. Enough space can be created on this portion of the land to build the road,” said a senior MMRDA official. As the land belongs to a government agency, the MMRDA does not anticipate any hurdle in acquiring the land to build the bypass road.

For the last few years, the MMRDA has been struggling to reduce traffic snarls at Kalanagar junction—one of the busiest intersections in the city. It connects the island city to both the western suburbs and the eastern suburbs via the Sion-Dharavi Road. As a short-term measure, MMRDA has also decided to implement, albeit partially, suggestions mooted by the Mumbai Environmental Social Network (MESN) to ease traffic congestion at Kalanagar junction.

“The median on the Western Express Highway at Kalanagar will be pushed back slightly. Vehicles coming from the sea link direction can directly drive to Bandra-Kurla Complex. At present, these vehicles have to take a sharp U-turn below the flyover to come on to the Sion-Dharavi Road and then take a left turn to enter BKC,” said the senior MMRDA official.

Also, the width of the two bus stops will be reduced thus, creating an additional lane for a bus-bay. “This will ensure that BEST buses halting at these stops will not block the traffic coming toward Dharavi T-junction from the northern direction,” said the official. “The other solution to cover the drains along the north-bound carriageway of the Western Express Highway (WEH) is not being undertaken yet as this will require the municipal corporation’s approval.” Civic officials may disapprove this plan as they would prefer the drains to remain accessible to ensure regular cleaning.

Road plans good only on paper: High court

August 14, 2013

Rosy Sequeira, TNN |

MUMBAI: Trying to cover up for its shoddy job so far, the BMC on Tuesday told the Bombay high court that it is working towards utility mapping and coordinated placement of underground cables to ensure conditions of roads did not suffer in future.

The BMC explained its proposals to the HC, which took a suo motu cognizance of potholed stretches in Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai. “Your paperwork is good but results are not there,” the HC told the civic body.

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation on Tuesday told Bombay High Court that it is working towards utility mapping and coordinated placement of under ground utilities to provide for good roads in future for Mumbai.

Highways leading to Mumbai were excellent but one realizes “you have entered the municipal limits by looking at the condition of the roads”, a division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice M S Sanklecha observed. “All of us want proper roads. Property prices are so high, people cannot afford to buy flats in south Mumbai. They stay far away and commute the distance. Roads are the arteries of a city. If you give good roads, people don’t mind staying 50km away,” said Justice Shah, adding that good roads cut down , adding that smooth roads and good connectivity can cut down on commute time.

Defending the civic body, municipal commissioner Sitaram Kumar claimed that indiscriminate digging of roads to lay underground cables for services such as phone, water, gas, electricity and petroleum led to potholes. “We have 1,941 km roads in Mumbai and every year, we have to allow digging of 400-450km, either to lay cables or repair them,” he said. When the judges asked if the ducts could be laid in such a way that roads did not have to be dug up every time service providers had to work on cables, Kunte said they had come up with two measures that might solve the problem-utility mapping and coordinated placement of utility cables. “We are working on a road map. Once we get our hand on the utility problem it will be an enduring solution,” said Kunte. The judges asked what civic bodies across the world did to maintain roads. “There is coordinated placement of utilities. Whichever city manages utilities properly, has cut down on digging,” said Kunte.

The civic chief said tenders were awarded, as mentioned by the Standard Technical Advisory Committee rules, only to the lowest bidder, meeting all criteria. “Your paperwork is good but results are not there,” Justice Shah riposted, questioning if the BMC could pay contractors over five years, settling only 20% of the cost per year so that the shoddy firms could be exposed. “The contractors will have to hike prices but you are assured of quality,” said Justice Shah.

The judges also questioned why all agencies, such as MSRDC and MMRDA, could not jointly award road contracts. But MMRDA commissioner U P S Madan said the agencies worked under individual boards and the BMC under the Standing Committee. The judges also questioned why all the agencies, such as MSRDC and MMRDA, could not jointly award road contracts. But MMRDA commissioner U P S Madan said it was difficult as state agencies worked under individual boards and the standing committee approved BMC contracts. MMRDA’s additional metropolitan commissioner Ashwini Bhide said the BMC maintained 85% roads, while the state agency had absolutely new roads. The size of tender packages was another reason why the MMRDA attracted bigger players and could construct quality roads, she said.

While urban development department state principal secretary Shrikant Singh blamed improper draining of water for asphalt stretches not stabilizing, Advocate General Darius Khambata said there was no agreement on the technology to surface different roads.

The HC added Mira-Bhayander and Vasai-Virar civic bodies as party to the case and directed the BMC, TMC and NMMC to submit their action plans at the next hearing on September 5.

He added that the city had been undergoing transformation and the constant installation of waterlines, sewerage, Metro and Monorail utilities, natural gas and IT worsened the road condition.

He said utilities is a major problem and there is a move towards a master plan for it in future including ducting and other methods.





Maharashtra may approach Centre, World Bank over Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link project

August 14, 2013

Clara Lewis, TNN |


MUMBAI: The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is considering four options for constructing the Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link (MTHL) after the latest round of bidding failed to elicit interest from construction firms.


The MTHL is a 22-km sea link between Nhava and Sewri that will connect Mumbai to the hinterland and offer a quick getaway to Pune, Nashik and Goa.


The four options under consideration include a direct cash contract wherein the government foots the bill; the developer constructs the sea link and is paid back in annual installments; taking up the project under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) where the Centre will bear 35% of the cost, the state government 15% and the implementing agency (MMRDA) will bear 50% of the cost; and approaching either the World Bank or the Japan International Cooperation Agency for a loan on the lines of the loan for the Mumbai Urban Transport Project.


Senior MMRDA officials said within a month the proposals will be placed before chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, who also heads MMRDA.


The project was proposed in the 70s. However, the first serious attempt to build the bridge was made in 2008 but it fell through because of a dispute between the Ambani brothers. For the third time the government failed to get any bids for the bridge.


The project was to be developed on a build-operate-transfer basis in which the developer was to quote a price with interest, which he would recover in 35 years after building the link over five years. To address some of its financial risks, the Union finance ministry has sanctioned viability-gap funding to the tune of Rs 1,920 crore for the project.


A source said one of the reasons that no bid was made for the project was the uncertainty over the proposed international airport in Panvel. “If the airport does not take off then the projected 60,000 vehicles traversing the bridge daily will also not happen which makes the project will become unviable,” said a source.



IRB withdraws from Mumbai Trans Harbour Link Project

August 5, 2013

By ET Bureau |


Maharashtra’s ambitious Rs.9630 crore Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) project will have one less bidder as IRB infrastructure developers’ ltd has decided to withdraw from the bidding process. IRB has written a letter to the MMRDA and the Chief Minister of Maharashtra saying they have decided to withdraw from the MTHL project because of bad experience on some other infrastructure projects in the state.In the letter Virendra Mhaiskar Chairman IRB has said, “We deeply regret to inform you that we are unable to participate in the bidding process of the project and the reasons are beyond the boundaries of this project. Unfortunately the experience that we have had in one of the infrastructure projects in Maharashtra in the city of Kolhapur has shattered our confidence to invest in the urban infrastructure projects especially in the state of Maharashtra.”

The central government has sanctioned the Viability Gap Funding (VGF) of Rs.1920 crore for the Rs.9630 crore MTHL which will connect South Mumbai to Navi Mumbai directly. Many Indian and international companies participated in the pre-qualification bids for the MTHL. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) had shortlisted 5 consortia M/s. CINTRA – SOMA -SREI, M/s. Gammon-OHL Concessions-G.S. Engineering, M/s. GMR-L & T Ltd-Samsung, M/s.IRB-Hyundai and M/s.Tata Realty and Infrastructure Limited-Autostrade-Vinci Concessions.

The MTHL is expected to carry more than 62,000 passenger car units in the year 2019 and an annual growth of about 5% is estimated. MMRDA has also undertaken a few additional corridors to facilitate the anticipated traffic dispersal.


Chembur will be as high profile as Worli: UPS Madan , MMRDA commissioner

June 26, 2013

MMRDA commissioner says transport infrastructure projects in Mumbai will improve quality of life and reduce stress

Makarand Gadgil
The major reason behind cost and time overruns is getting right of way for developing these projects and rehabilitating people, says Madan. Photo: Santosh Harhare/Hindustan Times</p><br /><br /><br />
The major reason behind cost and time overruns is getting right of way for developing these projects and rehabilitating people, says Madan. Photo: Santosh Harhare/Hindustan Times
Mumbai: U.P.S Madan, metropolitan commissioner of the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA), said in an interview that transport infrastructure projects such as the Eastern Freeway, the Mumbai Metro and the Monorail will improve quality of life and reduce stress by shortening commutes. Edited excerpts:
What is the status of projects such as the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro railway and the Chembur-Jacob Circle (in south central Mumbai) Monorail?
The first phase of the Metro railway—that is between Varsova and Airport junction—will start functioning by September and the Monorail’s first phase, i.e. between Chembur and Wadala, will also become operational around the same time. While the entire first line of Metro rail will become operational by the end of this year, it will take another year for entire Monorail to be ready for use. Another important project—the Santcruz-Chembur link road that will provide much-needed east-west connectivity—will also become operational by end of December. And financial bids for the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL), which will connect Sewri on the island city and Nhava-Sheva across the creek, will be received by 5 August, and we will require a few more days to finalise the contract.
How will these projects help?
These projects will reduce travel time by half or two-thirds but, more importantly, they will reduce stress levels as today you simply don’t know whether it will take one hour for you to travel from place A to place B or one-and-a-half hours or two hours. So you either take the risk of starting very early or missing an appointment or flight. The projects will also help in the development of various areas across the city. Tomorrow, Chembur would become as high profile as Worli is today.
Which new projects are on MMRDA’s priority list?
The Rs.23,000 crore line III of the Metro railway and the Rs.14,000 crore Virar-Alibaug Multinodal corridor, which will comprise rail, metro, mono and road links connecting Virar (a north-western suburb) to the south-eastern tip. The corridor will have eight-lane highways, out of which four lanes will be dedicated for a bus rapid transit system. The Japanese government arm, Japan International Cooperation Agency, has agreed to provide a soft loan for the metro line III project and we are expecting the central government to clear this project by the end of this month. And for the Virar-Alibaug project, work on various surveys and consultations with various multilateral agencies are in progress.
Many of your projects have been delayed, resulting in cost and time overruns. How do you plan to address this?
The major reason behind cost and time overruns is getting right of way for developing these projects and rehabilitating people, removing existing structures including religious ones, shifting utility lines. One can reduce delays by doing proper planning before floating tenders but sometimes delays are unavoidable, like in the case of the Metro railway. Indian Railways took nearly two years to approve the design of the bridge over the Western Railway tracks at Andheri. Similarly, in the case of all these three projects (Eastern Freeway, Monorail and Metro Railway), after starting civil work, we found that, there are some utility lines which can’t be shifted, so we had to change the design of pillars…. (In) Mumbai, if you wait for all these hurdles to get removed before work on the project gets started, they will never start.

Work begins on ROB on Santa Cruz-Chembur Link Road

April 9, 2013


Work begins on ROB on Santa Cruz-Chembur Link Road

April 08, 2013
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) on April 6 began work on the crucial and last phase of the 4-km elevated Santa Cruz-Chembur Link Road by launching two 40.5-metre girders to build a 109.8-metre rail overbridge (ROB) in Kurla.

The girders will form the foundation of the rail overbridge, which will connect Kurla east and west. The Santa Cruz-Chembur Link Road between the western and eastern express highways is basically a missing link and launching of the girders gives us confidence of completing the project by December, said UPS Madan, metropolitan commissioner.

Fifteen girders will have to be laid by MMRDA followed by asphalt work, lighting and other works. The double-decker Santa Cruz-Chembur Link Road flyover will provide one more east-west connectivity with one arm reaching Lokamanya Tilak Nagar Terminus for commuters travelling towards north as well as south, another to Nehru Nagar in Kurla (E) and the third to LB S Marg in Kurla (W).


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