MUMBAI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the new toll-free Mumbai Coastal Road Project north-south portion of Phase 1, here on February 19 — the 394th birth anniversary of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj — which is expected to revolutionise road commute in the country’s commercial capital.
The MCRP, which is named officially as ‘Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj Coastal Motorway’, is being executed by the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporatoin (BMC) from its own resources.
As per Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s suggestion, the CSMCM will be toll-free for Mumbai commuters and will shall the travel time from Worli to Marine Lines, a distance of 10.58 km, from the existing 50 minutes to barely 15 minutes.
When fully completed, the 8-lane, 29.2 km long grade-separated motorway will link Marine Drive with Kandivali suburb via the city’s western coastal route, the first of its kind in the state and billed an engineering marvel, costing around Rs 12,700 crore.
The work on MCRP was first proposed by the Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray in 2013, the work on the project started in 2017-2018.
Later in November 2019, Thackeray took over as Chief Minister heading the Maha Vikas Aghadi coalition, and work slowed down due to the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown before picking up pace later.
“We started the work in 2017-2018 and till our government was toppled by a bunch of cowards in June 2022, the MCRP work had already completed 65 per cent progress. We held weekly reviews and monthly visits, unlike the current regime,” said Worli MLA Aditya Thackeray, taking potshots at the current MahaYuti government of Shinde.
Slamming the government, he said that in order to claim credit before the elections, the government wants to inaugurate an unfinished coastal road.
“Elections are the criteria, not citizens. Inaugurating the coastal road, not fully ready, is a bad idea… but then, for politics, what all can be done! Shame that our city is being used for their politics,” said Aditya Thackeray.
The first phase will be fully ready by May 2024 when it will be thrown open to traffic in both directions, as indicated by BMC Commissioner I.S. Chahal last week.