Estimated cost of close to Rs 90,000 crore, under PPP; discussion on regarding route options; financing yet to be gone into in detail.
The Maharashtra government has prepared a comprehensive project, costing Rs 86,647 crore, for efficient connectivity between the proposed Navi Mumbai international airport and Mumbai.
The plan includes construction of metro rail and mono rail lines, rail overbridges, extension of existing railway lines and flyovers. Apart from government agencies, Union and state, the government expects the private sector to also be involved in implementation. As much as 44 per cent of the proposed investment is expected to come from the private sector.
The airport’s first phase is scheduled for launch by 2015. The City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco) would issue the first stage of bids for the airport in September.
Tanaji Satre, joint MD of Cidco, told Business Standard: “The sole objective is to put in place effective connectivity through multiple agencies. The government is keen to encourage public-private partnership to carry out these projects.”
He said some of the associated projects are already under implementation, such as the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar metro and a mono rail between Jacob Circle & Chembur.
The plan comes in the wake of a study by LEA Associates, commissioned to study the regional transport network. It estimated 80,000 passengers would travel to or from the airport daily by 2031. In addition, at least 100,000 others would travel to the airport and its vicinity for work. It predicted 85 per cent of passengers would go in cars or taxis and the est by bus or a mass transit system by 2021. By 2031, the number of passengers using taxis or cars would be 55 per cent and the rest though buses or mass transit.
The study lists several ways to enhance connectivity to the airport. This includes bus services from key junctions, a rail line between CST and Mankhurd, a Mankhurd-Panvel metro line and a trans-harbour Sewri-Nhava Sheva sea link, with bus services and a metro. “We are laying stress on augmenting the railway harbour line, metro connectivity and improving the road network,” said T C Benjamin, principal secretary, urban development.
A new 40-km Andheri-Mankhurd metro line to link the existing Mumbai airport to Navi Mumbai airport has also been recommended in the study. However, state officials are learnt to have expressed reservations on this plan, as the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar metro is being built. The plan is being revised to connect Ghatkopar-Mankhurd, a government official said.
Rahul Asthana, metropolitan commissioner, overseeing the metro and trans-harbour sea link project, said the Ghatkopar-Mankhurd metro was being discussed. “We have appointed a consultant to do a feasibility report for the trans-harbour sea link project. We are provisioning for a metro along with the sealink. The estimated project cost is Rs 10,000 crore. We hope the work will begin in the third quarter of 2012 and finish in five years,” he said.
Ansgar Sickert, managing director of Fraport India, said rapid and easy access was critical for the Navi Mumbai airport but there was no clarity on how the connectivity would be enhanced. “Who will guarantee whether the metro and road projects will be completed on time? Will there be penalties if these works do not meet the deadline?” he asked.
Transport consultant Beena Balakrishan said the government needed to focus on developing a multi-modal transport interchange like the one in Kuala Lumpur which provides train and bus access to the airport from a central station. “Passengers can even check in their bags at the station,” she said.