Mumbai: A Rs 50,000-crore plan is underway in the financial hub to set up an integrated urban transport system that will combine the suburban rail network with a metro rail system, hovercrafts and sea links.
A unified authority, the Urban Transport Managament Authority is being set up for the purpose, and to evolve an integrated fare structure.
The integration will attempt to create a coordinated routine and scheduling for the rail, rapid transit system, bus services and water transport. It will also work on unification of fare structure, rationalisation of redundant services and a coordinated public information system.
Maharashtra Special Projects Secretary Sanjay G Ubale said that with the integration,commuters would be able to buy a single ticket and use different modes of transport like rail, metro, waterways and road to reach a final destination.
As part of the project, Mumbai will have nine metro corridors that will be mostly elevated and connect various suburban points. The project will also upgrade the three railway suburb network and create a Worli-Nariman Point sea link, an East Island Freeway and a waterway between Borivli and Nariman Point.
The plan, to be completed by 2015, will also provide for inter-modal terminals at various points for transfers between different modes of transports.
The unified metropolitan transport authority will also create a sub-system for road, rail, waterways and air transportation, including a network of railways, parking lots and private and public modes of transport.
Elaborating on the plan, Ubale said the western and central suburban railway lines will be upgraded to have six lanes so that four lanes could exclusively be used for suburban traffic and two lines for outbound passenger and freight traffic.
Besides introducing 157 new suburban rail rakes in the next two years, plans are underway to introduce AC suburban rails as in the metro.
The first phase of the metro project will connect the 11- km stretch of Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar, the 38-km stretch of Colaba-Mahim-Charkop and the 14-km Bandra-Kurla-Mankhurd stretch.
The Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group has bagged the Versova- Andheri-Ghatkopar corridor and the company can bid for the remaining corridors too, Ubale said.
The World Bank, Indian Railways and the Maharashtra government are funding the first phase worth Rs2,356-crore.
The second phase includes extending the Harbour line up to Goregaon, adding extra tracks in the Kurla-CST, Borivli- Mumbai Central and Thane-Kalyan stretches.
Work is in progress on the six-km sea link between Worli and Bandra, which is expected to cost Rs1,100 crore. The bridge is expected to be operational by April 2008.
Under the Rs364-crore East Island Freeway project, the government plans to build an elevated bridge between Museum and Anik Panjarpur Road.