Nearly six years after being proposed in 2016, the much-awaited multi corridor Inland Water Transport (IWT) system from Mumbai to Thane and Palghar could finally begin operating soon. The project has long been stuck due to clearances issues, however, it has now crossed all bureaucratic hurdles and received a green signal from the state and central government authorities, reported The Free Press Journal.
The IWT system will give a huge relief to commuters travelling from Vasai to Kalyan and Bhiwandi amidst huge traffic jams on roads. A total of ten jetties including, Mira-Bhayandar, Ghodbunder, Vasai, Naglabunker, Kalher, Kolshet, Anjur Dive, Dombibli and Kalyan are slated to begin operation in the phase of the multi-corridor IWT system. However, work on four of these ten jetties, Mira-Bhayandar, Kalshey, Kalher and Dombinvalli will begin immediately.
The four proposed jetties will be built at a cost of around Rs 100 crore which will be funded jointly by the state and central government. The state government has already made budgetary allocations for the project.
Thane MP, Rajan Vichare and MLA Geeta Jain inspected the sites of the proposed jetties on Sunday while embarking on a boat journey. Senior Maritime Board officials accompanying Vichare and Jain inspected the old railway bridge connecting Bhayandar and Naigaon.
The old bridge which also carries pipelines to Panju Island is said to be a hindrance in the waterway route. However, talks with the railway ministry are already on to resolve the issue.
The Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) had taken the initiative to start water transport services from Thane to Bhayander, Kalyan and Bhiwandi. The TMC had first conducted a meeting with the civic chief of all the concerned corporations requesting co-operation for the project and all the corporators in August 2016.
However, the project got delayed due to several systematic issues. With the IWT services finally beginning, it will not only save the time of daily commuters by offering relief from the traffic on roads. It is also expected to attract tourists to the area by improving Thane’s connectivity to the surrounding area.