Mumbai Coastal Road opens for public

The city to have a park on the lines of New York’s Central Park and London’s Hyde Park


Geetanjali Minhas | March 12, 2024 | Mumbai

#Infrastructure   #Maharashtra   #Mumbai  

The right-hand side (RHS) of the Coastal Road, named ‘Dharmveer Swarajya Rakshak Sambhaji Maharaj Coastal Road’, linking Worli Sea Face and Marine Drive, has opened for cars and buses at 8 am Tuesday.

The coastal road of nearly 10.58 km length out of which 9.5 km was inaugurated by Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde on Monday includes a total of 16.5 km of interchanges at Worli Seaface, Haji Ali interchange and Amarsons interchange and motorists can exit at Marine Lines. Motorists will be able to cover the Worli-Marine Drive stretch in 10 minutes as against 40-45 minutes it used to take.  

The remaining 1 km stretch is a bridge that will connect with the Bandra-Worli Sea link and open in May 2024.

Being built at a cost of Rs 14,000 crore, the coastal road has four lanes on each side along with two tunnels each of 2.07 km and diameter of 12.19 metres – the largest in the country  built with tunnel boring machines (TBM).

Speed limit inside tunnels is 60 km per hour. For the rest of the corridor it is 80 kmph and at interchanges the speed is limited at 40 km. Each tunnel has three lanes. Stopping on the coastal road is prohibited. Heavy vehicles including mixers, trucks, goods carriers etc., two- and three-wheelers, animal drawn carts and pedestrians are not allowed. BEST, ST buses and passenger vehicles are allowed.        

Actual construction of the Coastal Road commenced in June 2020 after the Bombay High Court lifted a stay order. Earlier the work order had been issued in October 2018.

Shinde said the Coastal road has been built using advanced technology and called it an “engineering marvel”. He said all precautions have been taken for safety of people on MCR and its second phase will be opened to traffic in May 2024. The CM had earlier said that the alignment of the road was changed to allow a gap of 120 metres between the road pillars in Mumbai for smooth movement of boats of fishermen.

The second phase of consists of eight-lane stretch with twin tunnels between Malabar Hill and Marine Drive in south Mumbai too will be ready by May 2024.

The BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said that the Coastal Road will reduce the travel time from 40 minutes to nine minutes and save nearly $100 million annually in carbon emissions through fuel saving. “This Coastal Road will also have 175 acres of coastal garden which will be developed in due course of time. It is for the first time in India that a four-lane coastal road has been built 100% on reclaimed land from sea stands on monopiles only,” said BMC commissioner and administrator IS Chahal.

Deputy chief ministers Devendra Fadanvis and Ajit Pawar were also present at the inauguration.

The remaining part of the 53-km project that will extent to Dahisar is aimed to be completed in six packages in six years for which the BMC has issued work orders to six firms.

Meanwhile, the state cabinet on Monday cleared the creation of nearly 300 acres of the Mumbai Central Park in South Mumbai by amalgamating 175 acres of the Coastal Garden in the land reclaimed from sea and 120 acres of the Mahalaxmi Racecourse land.

As many as 76.24% members of the racecourse body, RWITC, in its EGM on January 30 had voted in favour of surrendering 120 acres of the land back to the state government and BMC permanently. The land had been leased out to RWITC around 100 years back by the state government/BMC.

The cabinet also approved the BMC’s proposal to renew the 30-year lease of RWITC (up to 2053) for the remaining 91 acres.  

Chahal said that it was the government’s dream to create a world-class 300-acre Mumbai Central Park on the lines of the central park in Manhattan, USA, and Hyde Park in London. “I thank the Managing Committee of RWITC and all their eminent members for historic and exceptional support to the proposal of state government/BMC to create a Mumbai Central Park of nearly 300 acres, including 120 acres of turf club lease land in possession of RWITC since nearly last hundred years.”

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