Transportation and communications chief, MMRDA, says that “Currently, it takes about four hours of travel time from Virar to Alibaug but once the road-rail corridor is constructed, it will cut the travel time to just one hour.”
Additional metropolitan commissioner, SVR Srinivasan, confirmed that even World Bank officials have showed an interest in extending financial assistance for the project. Talking about their involvement in the project Onno Ruhl, country director, India, World Bank, adds that, “We are studying the project and its viability. The details are going to be worked out over a period of time. At present, we are also talking to officials to understand our commitment for the project.”
To be built over a period of four to five years, the project will see trade coming to these regions. The multimodal corridor will pass through Navi Mumbai, Matheran, Panvel, Pen, Uran, Alibaug, Thane, Dombivali, Kalyan, Bhiwandi, Ulhasnagar, Ambernath, Kulgaon, Khopoli, Karjat, Mira Road, Bhayandar, Vasai, Navaghar, Nallasopara and Virar.
The corridor will be Mumbai’s largest and will include a separate Bus Rapid and Mass Rapid Transit System (BRTS and MRTS). Gradually, as the townships grow, even the metro rail will come in. The MMRDA has proposed the corridor to help overcome the problems of the far-flung, yet growing townships and connect them better. The development body has also invited expressions of interest for techno-economic and financial feasibility studies of the plan, following which, it plans to initiate the project by developing the expressway.
The expressway, Murthy informs, will be different than the one between Mumbai and Pune as it will connect the important growth centers of Kalyan, Bhiwandi and commuters can access these areas via service roads. The expressway will also prove to be a boon for the special economic zone and the international airport projects coming up in Navi Mumbai. This project would create a multi-modal corridor encouraging trade routes from Gujarat and extending towards the Pune-Bengaluru Expressway.
The plan is to finish the first phase of the 126-km multi-modal corridor (MMC) from Virar to Alibaug by 2017 and to construct the MMC in two phases. The first phase of 76 kms from Navghar, near Virar to Chirner near JNPT, is expected to be ready by 2018. The second phase, 47 kms long, will be between Chirner and Alibaug.
Rajiv Ranjan, member of the transport committee adds, “The places along this route are bound to get attractive, once this corridor starts functioning. It would make travel convenient and facilitate developments to these places. These infrastructural development and road rail corridors prepare the way for developments to take place in these regions.”
While the growth centres planned in distant suburbs such as Kalyan, Virar and Navi Mumbai, are aimed at decongesting Mumbai, the corridor will offer the fastest connectivity between the two extreme ends of the metro region. The corridor, proposed to be laid from the Diva-Vasai rail line intersection on NH-8 (Ahmedabad highway) upto Alibaug, would cover a distance of about 140 kms.
Karan Khetan, senior analyst, research and REIS, Jones Lang LaSalle India, shares that “During the past decade, the commercial property segment has been witnessing a steady rise in demand for office space. All this activity is credited to the significant shift from developing averagequality commercial spaces to building superior-quality projects with advanced amenities that support the business environment. Also, the ongoing infrastructure initiatives are aimed at transforming the suburban areas into successful commercial centers.”
In addition to this there is the elevated rail project from Churchgate to Virar.
So the vasai virar belt is bound to flourish now with all above developments