Toll-free Mumbai Coastal Road to be partly opened this month-end: Eknath Shinde

Mumbai, Jan 8 (IANS): The Mumbai Coastal Road Project's toll-free first phase will be partially opened for traffic this month-end, offering solace from traffic hassles to the city residents, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said here on Sunday.

The CM made the announcement during a cleanliness campaign launched from the twin-tunnel of the MCR near the Priyadarshini Park on Napean Sea Road.

Shinde said that work on the 2.07 km long tunnel from Worli to Girgaon Chowpatty on Marine Drive (the south-bound arm), constructed under the Malabar Hill, has been completed and it shall be thrown open for traffic by the end of January.

Taking a ride inside the tunnel, he said that for the first time in India, the Saccardo nozzles, a state-of-the-art ventilation system has been installed in the twin tunnel. Saccardo nozzles or ejectors will introduce air-jets inside the tunnels, from three giant 2 metre diameter fans installed outside each tunnel, and drive away the air inside in a particular direction to improve the ventilation and quality of air within.

For emergency purposes there are special arrangements made every 300 metres with utility boxes for the tunnel's utility services, plus an advanced traffic management control centre.

The Chief Minister said that the second tunnel would be completed by May-end and the entire project would help save precious time and fuel costs, besides reducing emissions.

A pet project of former Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) CM Uddhav Thackeray, the MCR is being built by the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) at a cost of over Rs 12,000 crore.

The first comprises 111 hectares of land reclaimed from the Arabian Sea, 26.50 hectares will go to build the inter-changes for the MCR, 14.50 hectares to build a sea-wall to protect the coastal road from lashing sea-waves, besides public spaces and other amenities being built on 70 hectares.

On the 10.58 km-long MCR, 170 mono-piles have been constructed under the bridges, and upon completion, Mumbai will get an additional 8.50 km long and 20 metres wide sea-promenade with other attractions like a biodiversity park, a buttery garden, landscaping, cycle-tracks, open-air theatres, seating for visitors, toilets and underground parking for over 1,800 vehicles.

Currently, the 3.60 km long Marine Drive -- also known as the Queen's Necklace -- is the longest promenade running from Girgaum Chowpatty to Nariman Point.

Subsequently, the MCR would serve as the 'vital link' for the proposed 44-km long Coastal Road extension from Versova to Virar (Palghar), which in turn would be linked with the upcoming Rs 1 lakh crore Delhi-Mumbai Expressway, which is around two-thirds completed.

Prior to the MCR, on January 12, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the much-anticipated 'Atal Bihari Vajpayee Sewri-Nhava Sheva Atal Setu' -- or the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link, which will allow Mumbai residents to zoom between Mumbai-Raigad in just 20 minutes, compared with the 2 hours' time it takes currently.

CM Shinde reviewed the arrangements being made for PM Modi's trip next Friday and even launched a cleanliness drive on both sides of the MTHL.

The MTHL will offer quick access to the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, the Mumbai-Goa Highway, the Virar-Raigad corridor, the Mumbai Port Authority and Jawaharlal Nehru Port Authority, the upcoming Navi Mumbai International Airport and other major infrastructure and development projects, besides a new gate-way to the coastal Konkan region.




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Title: Toll-free Mumbai Coastal Road to be partly opened this month-end: Eknath Shinde

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