It’s a pretty morning in Mumbai and you are feeling energetic after a good night’s sleep.Tempted by the beautiful weather, you quickly grab your mobile phone, earphones and a bottle of water for a jogging session but you can’t decide where to go! Thanks to incessant traffic and rampant encroachments, finding a good spot to jog or cycle in Mumbai is a nearly impossible task these days.
However, if you are a jogging or cycling enthusiast living in Mumbai, here’s some good news for you. On Saturday, Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis gave his consent to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) proposal to build a 39-km-long cycling and jogging track between suburban Mulund and Antop Hill in Wadala.
To be built alongside the British-era Tansa water pipeline, this tree-lined track will be one of the longest in India!
The work for this ₹ 300 crore project will be undertaken in phases and is expected to be opened to the public by 2019. The first step of the project will be the removal of illegal encroachments along the pipeline, as directed by a High Court order.
The BMC has already identified more than 15,000 encroaching structures through an earlier survey conducted by the engineering department. The Phase 1 of the project will target a 4-5 km stretch along the pipeline and is expected to begin by October.
The civic body is also constructing a wall along the Tansa pipeline (that runs in two parts — from Mulund to Dharavi and from Ghatkopar to Sion) to protect the track from future encroachment.
With 40 entry-exit points, the track will connect 19 railway stations, 7 Metro stations, and 4 monorail stations. Once completed, it will also be the shortest — and a more eco-friendly — route between the eastern suburbs and central parts of Mumbai like Wadala and Sion.
Interestingly, along with parking spaces and resting points, the track will also have a biodiversity corridor, a Bollywood walk and a Mumbai books route.
Earlier this year, during his budget speech, BMC Commissioner Ajoy Mehta had also announced a cycling and pedestrian track between Bandra fort and the Bandra-Worli Sea Link. While this project comes under the aegis of BMC’s plan to beautify Mumbai’s forts, it’s also a part of the civic body’s plan to create infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists across the city.
The Maharashtra government also plans to create similar cycling tracks (dubbed ‘streets with cycle tracks’) along the major roads of 10 leading cities in the state.The viability and public response to these tracks will be first gauged through pilot projects, which if successful, will be followed by full-scale projects in the cities (Nagpur, Nashik, Pune, Solapur, Kolhapur, Amravati, Aurangabad, Jalgao and Latur).