Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Coastal road cost may be cut by Rs 1,800cr as BMC plans shorter undersea tunnel

MUMBAI: The ambitious 33.2-km coastal road project from Nariman Point to Kandivli is likely to see a major cost reduction as the BMC is considering shortening the length of one of the two proposed 5.6km undersea tunnels to just 1km.

The cost of the entire project is estimated to be Rs 12,000 crore. As the per kilometre cost of construction of a tunnel is around Rs 400 crore, a shorter undersea tunnel means the project cost will drop by around Rs 1,800 crore.

According to the draft detailed project report (DPR), the coastal road project will have two undersea tunnels --one from NCPA in Nariman Point to Priyadarshini Park at Napeansea Road in south Mumbai and the other rom Juhu Sea Side Garden o Ritumbhara College in the western suburbs. The BMC plans to now build the south Mumbai tunnel from Tambe Chowk instead of NCPA to Priyadarshini Park.

Senior civic officials told TOI that even while a peer review of the coastal road pro ect is yet to be done, they felt a need to reduce the length of he south Mumbai tunnel."In March, an empowered committee, headed by the chief secretary , felt that there was no need to build the unnel from Nariman Point.Hence, we are seriously looking at reducing the length of the tunnel from 5.6km to around 1km. This would reduce the entire cost of the project too as the construction of 1km of the tunnel will cost around Rs 400 crore," said a civic official. "Besides, while studying the project, we realized that the road at Marine Drive is under reconstruction, hence it would be apt to reduce the length of the undersea tunnel to benefit this work."

Refusing comment on the plan to reduce the length of the undersea tunnel, additional municipal commissioner Dr Sanjay Mukherjee said that the BMC is appointing a consultant for the peer review of the coastal road project. "The peer review would also take into consideration suggestions and objections sent by citizens on merit," said Mukherjee.

In the BMC budget 2015 16, Rs 200 crore had been earmarked for the project. It has been learned that the BMC will pay the consultant Rs 2.44 crore for the review. The peer review would be undertaken in phases; the first phase is expected to be completed by February.

The entire peer review is expected to be completed within six months.