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Transport a Priority in Mumbai’s Planning Budget
Mumbai's proposed Metro Rail system, which was allocated some money in the recent transport-heavy budget.  Photo: Techarena

Mumbai's recent transport-heavy budget allocated some money into the proposed metro rail system. Photo: Techarena

The Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) budget for 2010-11 was approved on Tuesday.  The planning agency has proposed an annual outlay of Rs 6,143 crore (last year’s was Rs 6,653 crore).  For international readers, this is approximately equal to USD $1.3 billion. Here are some highlights of the plan:

Public transport projects have been allocated the largest chunk of funds in the budget.

  • The largest amount (Rs 1,833 crore) was earmarked for the Mumbai Metro and monorail projects.  The monorail project alone will use Rs 1,453 crore.

Other transport initiatives included in the budget:

  • The Mumbai Urban Transport Project (Rs 493 crore), a World Bank-funded initiative that aims to improve traffic congestion and transportation in the Mumbai metropolitan region.  The project may include investments in suburban railway projects, local bus transport, new roads, bridges, pedestrian subways and traffic management activities.
  • The construction of flyovers (Rs 111 crore)
  • Water transport (Rs 100 crore) that would convert the city’s 62-kilometer coastline into a transport corridor supplementing the city’s saturated suburban railway services. Money would go towards developing a water transport line from Ferry Wharf to Belapur, and another one from Ferry Wharf to Mandwa.
  • Multi-model corridors, such as a 140-kilometer corridor linking Virar and Alibaug (Rs 20 crore)

The budget also makes grants available for new initiatives like:

  • The Mumbai Urban Infrastructure Project (Rs 727 crore), which, in response to Mumbai’s growing suburban population, wealth and travel demand, aims to supplement the Mumbai Urban Transport Project by improving the region’s road network
  • MMRDA’s skywalk program (Rs 500 crore)
  • An “innovation park”
  • Business growth centers

What is NOT included in the plan?

For one, the 101-story skyscraper planned for Wadala, which was to be built along with a new bus terminus. Because of the tower’s high cost (Rs 4,000 crore) and the lack of response from infrastructure companies due to the economic slowdown, the bus terminus will be built without the tower.

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