Mumbai: Thane City alone to see benefits from infrastructure projects worth a staggering Rs 5.64 lakh crore, right from the three bullet trains to metro rail and bridges.
There are about 22 infrastructure projects (see box) that are either passing through or starting or meant to decongest Thane. Several of them have come Thane’s way especially after Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has helmed certain crucial departments and ministeries since 2014, when Devendra Fadnavis was the Chief Minister in the Shiv Sena -Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) coalition government in Maharashtra.
Back then, Shinde was Minister of Public Works including the public undertakings such as the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC).
Later, in November 2019, when the Maha Vikas Aghadi government led by Uddhav Thackeray was formed, he continued to be the Minister of Public Works and got an additional role of becoming Minister of Urban Development. Hereon, he also got the responsibility of being the Chairman of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), which otherwise is helmed by the state’s Chief Minister.
Now, with Shinde himself being the Chief Minister since June 30 this year, he continues to retain both the ministries along with being MMRDA’s Chairman and having other departments as well. It has been eight years since he has been responsible for planning projects for the entire of Maharashtra.
With him being in-charge of strategising Maharashtra’s infrastructure projects and budget allocation to specific projects, cities and regions of the state, Thane has perhaps emerged as the city having received lion’s share. Shinde himself is a Member of Legislative Assembly from Thane’s Kopri-Pachpakhadi constituency.
A chunk of the projects are also planned for Kalyan-Dombivali-Ulhasnagar-Ambernath-Thane (Mumbra and Kalwa) area, which is the jurisdiction of Kalyan Member of Parliament Dr. Shrikant Shinde, son of the Chief Minister.
All these areas fall under the larger Mumbai Metropolitan Region, and the infrastructure as well as transportation upgradation mandate is with the MMRDA.
Some of the high ticket value projects that will boost Thane’s infrastructure and partially decongest Mumbai’s satellite city includes Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train, Mumbai-Hyderabad bullet train, Mumbai-Nagpur bullet train, which will go along the under construction Mumbai-Nagpur Super Communication Expressway.
The other projects are Wadala-Ghatkopar-Thane-Ghodbunder-Gaimukh Metro Line 4, Thane-Bhiwandi-Kalyan Metro line 10, Thane Ring Rail, Balkum-Gaimukh Coastal Road, Anand Nagar-Saket Elevated Road, Eastern Freeway Extension, Borivali-Thane tunnel, Airoli-Katai Naka Freeway, Kopri-Patni creek bridge, new Kalwa creek bridge, new Kopri rail over bridge, three bridges connecting Gaimukh and Bhiwandi, Gaimukh-Fountain Hotel elevated road, Desai creek bridge, passenger water transport, Diva East-West bridge and concretisation of Eastern Express Highway in Thane.