Work on the metro line to connect the two airports in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) and the Navi Mumbai International Airport (NMIA), is set to begin soon with the state government initiating planning work in this regard. The move comes against the backdrop of the construction of the NMIA.
Multiple government agencies have discussed development of Gold Line
Multiple government agencies such as the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO), and the Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation, have since 2017 discussed the development of the Gold Line or the Airport Express Metro Line.
In October 2022, MMRDA requested CIDCO to prepare a detailed project report (DPR) for the section of Mumbai Metro Line 8 from Mankhurd to Sagar Sangam on Navi Mumbai Metro Line 1-A, a distance of about 14.40 km.
Consultancy services to prepare alternative analysis report and DPR
In view of the importance of establishing mass rapid transit system connectivity to the upcoming NMIA, CIDCO appointed Urban Mass Transit Company as a consultant to prepare an alternative analysis report and DPR for extending the existing Navi Mumbai Metro from CBD Belapur to NMIA as Line 1A and from Mankhurd to NMIA as Line 8A of MMRDA’s Metro Line 8.
“These two MRTS systems will eventually provide regional connectivity from Dahisar, Andheri, and Kalyan to Navi Mumbai. This will be done through the under-construction metro Line 2B and as part of the Metro Line 8 CSMIA–NMIA connectivity and the proposed Line 12 Kalyan–Taloja Metro connectivity of MMRDA,” said CIDCO managing director Sanjay Mukherjee.
“The total cost for the alternative analysis and DPR study is Rs1.86 crore plus taxes and the study is expected to be completed in five months,” Mukherjee said.
Project Management consultant to be appointed
MMRDA is likely to appoint a project management consultant later this year to take the Gold Line project ahead, according to Metropolitan Commissioner SVR Srinivas.
The six-year-old plan to connect both the airports involves constructing a 30 km line with trains running at a frequency of around 20 minutes. It could have as few as 7 stations along the route and this will allow the trains to travel at 80-90 kmph against a maximum of 30-35 kmph that other metro lines achieve.
Travel time between two airports to fall to half-an-hour
The travel time between the two airports will fall sharply from the present two hours to around half-an-hour.
The government was also looking at merging the Airport Express with the CSMT-Panvel high speed rail corridor to cross the Vashi Creek to connect the two airports as constructing a bridge over the creek will entail incorporating a capital intensive element. As such a standard gauge track will be laid so that the same track can be used by the suburban rail as well as the metro rail.
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