New Delhi: Heliports, new waterway projects, floating hotels and restaurants, marinas, jetties and a giant observation wheel on the lines of the London Eye are part of a major new plan to drive growth and tourism in the city.
While the floatel will be anchored off the Raj Bhavan near Malabar Hill in south Mumbai, marinas and jetties to promote intra-city water transport shall also be taken up.
The plan includes building a cruise terminal, waterways projects, a 500-room floating hotel to be anchored off the Raj Bhavan coast, three-to-four floating restaurants, a Ferris wheel on the lines of the London Eye and marinas and jetties to promote intra-city water transport in Mumbai.
Gadkari has set up a committee headed by Rani Jadhav, former chairperson of the Mumbai Port Trust, and comprising urban planners, landscape artists and transportation experts to suggest ways and means to utilise around 1,800 acres of land under the Trust for these projects.
“The committee will submit its report in three months after holding public consultation before arriving at conclusions. We shall then float international competition and award the projects on Build, Operate, Transfer (BOT) basis,” Gadkari told media persons here.
The minister said the estimated land value is around Rs.75,000 crore, but categorically ruled out handing it over to private realtors.
“Port land is public property and none of it will be given to private builders. Mumbai is the financial capital of India and needs to have world-class infrastructure. It generates large amounts of revenue… It must gets due,” Gadkari said.
He added that the centre will support all projects to improve Mumbai’s physical infrastructure.
Gadkari said his ministry would soon commission a study by the Indian Roads Research Organization to understand, analyze and suggest remedies to rid traffic bottlenecks in Mumbai.
The report would be handed over to the Maharashtra government for implementation. He said a similar study for his hometown Nagpur had greatly contributed towards scientific traffic management and reduced accidents.
To a query on the proposed Mumbai ring road, Gadkari said that unlike many other Indian cities, this was beyond the jurisdiction of the National Highways Authority of India.
“The ring road solution for Mumbai should be a combination of coastal roads, sea links, surface roads and trans-harbour link. The state government should seriously explore the tunnelling option, as the cost has come down drastically with advancement in technology,” Gadkari said.
Earlier, attending the 142nd Foundation Day of the port trust, Gadkari handed over the papers transferring a sea-facing berth in the Indira Docks to the Indian Coast Guard, which was its long-pending demand.
He also handed over sea space at Girgaum Chowpatty to the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation to launch its amphibian seaplane services in the city, which was announced a few months ago.