In a new adventurous twist, the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation [NMMC], along with the City and Industrial Development Corporation [CIDCO], has proposed a brilliant way to travel from Vashi to Kopar Khairane! Well, what is it you ask? Surprise, surprise, it…. is … a ROPEWAY!
A Ropeway, aka Aerial Tramway, aka Cable Car, is a form of elevated transport where a box is suspended under a cable and moves from end to end. Several exist across India, most notably in hilly areas such as the ones in Darjeeling, Gangtok, Palani, and Raigad Fort.
So, according to MiD-Day, Tata Reality has done a survey on a 5km stretch and pitched the idea to NMMC and CIDCO.
As many as six stations are being considered on the Stretch from Sector-17 in Vashi to Teen Take Chowk in Kopar Khairane. Currently, the fastest way to traverse this section is by road, and most commuters use autos, share autos and NMMT [AC 121, 123, 125 and others] or BEST [AS 524 and AS 592 and the regulars] buses.
The plan is to set it up initially on this short stretch, connecting Vashi Bus Station and Kopar Khairane Bus Station and then extend it further to different areas as and when required.
Let us now take a quick look at Navi Mumbai, it’s existing Transport system, and try to fit this in.
Navi Mumbai has two railway lines, the Harbour and the Trans-Harbour lines:
- The Harbour Line connects Panvel to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus on the Central Line and Andheri on the Western Line via CBD Belapur, Nerul, Vashi and Chembur.
- The Trans-Harbour Line connects Turbhe to Thane via Airoli, Rabale, Ghansoli, and Kopar Khairane. The Trans harbour line splits into two south of Turbhe and one joins the Harbour line towards Vashi and CBD Belapur respectively.
There is one Metro Line under construction, connecting CBD Belapur and Taloja via Kharghar and the Central Jail. Apart from this, there is a melee of BEST, NMMT, TMT, KDMT, and KMT buses flowing all over. BEST operates C-52 from Wadala Depot to Kalamboli, while NMMT operates 103 from Dadar to Panvel.
With so many modes of transport criss-crossing Navi Mumbai, one would assume that traveling there would be easy. However, this isn’t exactly the case. Navi Mumbai is vastly spread out. The two most important nodes, Vashi and CBD Belapur are separated by 10km. The former is an important commercial centre, while the latter is important in terms of governance.
The two main lifelines of Navi Mumbai; the Harbour Line and the Sion-Panvel Highway are not enough. The former has only slow rail services and the latter caters mostly to vehicles going from Mumbai to Pune.
Thus, it would be a wise move to welcome the Ropeway. It would be less land-intensive, would provide some good respite to the traffic in the area and would also afford a good view. Having six stations en route, again, a brilliant idea. NMMC and CIDCO can consider multiple routes. In Northern Navi Mumbai, it would help relieve the burden on the Trans-Harbour Line and the Thane-Belapur Road. The sections along the Western side are booming residential areas, while those on the East, like Mahape, Millenium Business Park, Reliance Knowledge Park, are booming business corridors. This would make the Ropeway immensely beneficial to these areas.
A second ropeway can be considered in Southern Navi Mumbai, connecting CBD Belapur with Nerul and Kharghar. The geographical terrain here is very much favourable for a ropeway as it is hilly. This would connect the Jetty at Nerul, the Hoverport at Belapur and the residential colonies at Kharghar. This would also act as a feeder for the Metro.
Right now, if the existing plan to build the Vashi-Kopar Khairane line is complete, it would act like the Mumbai Monorail; an independent mass transit line on one corner of the city, whose purpose would be limited because it isn’t connected well to other parts of the city and other transit systems.
NMMC and CIDCO should ponder upon this.
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