After around three years of the civic body’s planning for one of Mumbai’s most ambitious infrastructure projects, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday did the bhoomipujan of the 12,700-crore INR 29.98-km coastal road project. The laying of the foundation stone was done at Amarsons Garden in Cumbala Hill, where preparation for construction has begun and said to be completed in four years. The kick-starting of work on the eight-lane coastal road, intended to connect the island city to the western suburbs, comes ahead of PM Narendra Modi’s event to inaugurate two Metro projects in Kalyan on December 18, 2018.
Thackeray said, “One of the biggest promises made to Mumbaikars by the Sena is now becoming a reality. We will complete it in four years as promised.” Thackeray thanked the BJP-led state and central governments for cooperating with Mumbai, and processing all permissions quickly. However, he said, “There are many projects that will benefit the common Mumbaikar, but are stuck at the state and central government level. I’m requesting the government to process permissions for such projects too.” Taking a dig at BJP’s ‘achche din’ line, mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar said, “We cannot say if achche din has arrived, but the Sena is fulfilling the promises it made to Mumbai.”
The first phase of the road will involve constructing a 9.98-km stretch, which will connect Marine Drive to the Worli end of the Bandra-Worli Sea link. Municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta said, “The project will be carried out with transparency and will be completed in a time-bound manner. For the first time, we have introduced a clause in the tendering agreement that BMC will not pay the contractor any more money if the project is not completed in four years.” The BMC had floated global tenders and received responses from 17 national and international bidders. “This ensured that project construction meets international standards,” Uddhav Thackeray said. “The design for the project was published by BMC and a lot of international consultants gave feedback for free,’’ said Mehta.