MSRDC, MMRDA to swap Alibaug-Virar multimodal corridor and Thane twin tunnel projects

Mumbai: The MSRDC (Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation) and MMRDA (Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority) to exchange Alibaug-Virar multimodal corridor & Thane twin tunnel projects with each other, said an official from the MSRDC, requesting anonymity. An official announcement on same will be declared soon, he stated.

The official said, "We (MSRDC) are already constructing the Mumbai Nagpur super-expressway. Since the proposed Alibaug Virar multimodal corridor will support the super expressway connectivity, it is essential to start the other project work at the earliest. The super expressway is being constructed, so the cities from where it is passing will get direct connectivity to the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), and Multimodal project will provide the JNPT traffic. Therefore, it has been decided that if the same agency (MSRDC) takes the supporting project work, it will be faster and easier to complete instead of other agency (MMRDA) doing it."

The official informed that MSRDC will construct the multimodal corridor and in exchange, MMRDA will take the proposed Thane-Borivali twin tunnel project. However, MSRDC will bear the cost of the twin tunnel project and MMRDA to take care of the cost of multimodal corridor. The construction cost will not be a matter as both will be tolled once ready, informed the official.

The proposed eight-lane 128 kilometres-long Alibaug-Virar multimodal corridor has been pegged at Rs 19,000 crore by the MMRDA. Of which Rs 15,617 crore earmarked for land acquisition only. This project is proposed to be constructed in phasewise manner and to be funded partially by the World Bank. The project construction work was expected to begin in mid-2020 but till date no work has been started.

The corridor will be passing from 104 villages and as per report, the MMRDA had completed 61 villages demarcation work. Similarly, construction work for the proposed 10.20km-long twin tunnel has not been started till date.

The MSRDC, the nodal agency for this project, has received approval from the state to prepare a detailed project report while forest clearance is awaited. This newspaper had reported that the MSRDC has already identifed 57 hectares of vacant land at Aurangabad for afforestation since this project will be passing from the existing forest patch in Mumbai's Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SNGP).

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