Dreams unlimited: A place for everyone
ith 20 million people, 25 lakh vehicles on roads and heavy re-development — all on the rise — will Mumbai move up the livability index in the next six years? If the infrastructure projects being planned meet the deadline, Mumbai could as well become the best city in the country by 2017.
Here is what is being planned: Air-conditioned suburban trains, Metro lines, high-speed trains to neighbouring cities and monorail. Add to them, more shopping malls, highrises and a new airport. Hi-tech movement: The first phase of the Mumbai Urban Transport Project is almost completed and the second phase has kicked off with a fleet of trains with stainless steel interiors. At least three elevated rail corridors are in the advanced stages of planning. Other projects include an air-conditioned suburban rail corridor over the existing rail line and a hi-speed freight corridor connecting JNPT port with the rest of the country. Also on the anvil are hi-speed trains to Ahmedabad, which will run at 350kmph.
The first metro line and monorail would by ready by 2017. The first 11-km route connecting Versova-Andheri and Ghatkopar is likely to become operational within a few years.
The first monorail in the country — between Chembur-Wadala and Jacob Circle — is likely to start soon. Besides, the next phase of the sea link connecting Worli and Haji Ali will also be functional within five years.
Smaller projects like the Milan Subway flyover, Sahar Elevated road connecting the international airport with the Western Express Highway and the Eastern Freeway from CST to Aanik near Wadala are likely to be completed soon.
The new airport is expected to open, at least partially, in the next six years, substantially increasing the number of flights from/to the city. The black and yellow cabs, if they retain the colour-scheme till 2017, will also turn into a dial-a-cab service with easy-to-hire facilities and swankier car models. Seamless travel could be a reality and you could go to places such as Alibag, Uran and Panvel in a metered cab or auto.
The BEST is also set to undergo a sea change, with new buses having wider LED display boards, improved safety amenities and faster speed. Besides, smart card ticketing and air-conditioned double-deck buses could be a reality.
The MMR region has over 20 million people. Though the migration trend has slowed down in the past few years, the region will be home to 25 million people in the next six years. Changing skyline: In the face of the growing population, housing will be another challenge. Accordingly, the crumbling concrete edifices will turn chrome and steel. The city is in the early stages of a real-estate revolution — it has started in the lanes of Bandra. Come 2017, key locations will be transformed into upscale neighbourhoods. Slum clearance could speed up and shabby housing spaces could become world class areas.
Of course, the plush pads will come with a lifestyle to match. From homes loaded with consumer durables and latest gizmos to gated communities packed with indulgent activities, these addresses will be as much habitats as they will be style statements. And malls being the temples of urban convergence, expect plenty of glitzy retail domes to spring up in every part of the city.