Monday, December 20, 2010

Metro may link Santa Cruz, Navi Mumbai airport

MUMBAI: The connectivity between the old airport in Santa Cruz and the proposed airport in Navi Mumbai is set to be boosted by metro rail. The metro will be a joint project by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) and the City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco). The MMRDA is firming up plans for connectivity and has held talks with Cidco on the issue. Several routes are being discussed.

One of the routes being mentioned is the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar line; another is the Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd route. There will also be an underground metro link from the Bandra Kurla Complex to the Eastern Express Highway, and an elevated metro from the highway to the Navi Mumbai airport.

MMRDA commissioner Ratnakar Gaikwad said the MMRDA is the planning authority for the Mumbai area, while Cidco is the planning authority for the Navi Mumbai area. "We have had discussions on the issue and will be working on a joint project,'' said Gaikwad.

He added that Lea & Associates, the Canadian consulting firm which is conducting the transport studies for the region, will carry out a feasibility report for the project. "We are looking at a system under which commuters can step into the metro at Colaba, go to the Santa Cruz airport and also travel to the Navi Mumbai airport if they wish,'' said Gaikwad.

There are also plans for connecting the proposed Navi Mumbai airport with the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link. MMRDA officials said funds for the airport link can be made available from either the World Bank or the Japanese Bank for International Cooperation. The metro rail project will have nine lines in the Mumbai region and will link all the vital points for faster transport.

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