MMRDA's tower plan on hold
The Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) will have to wait a little longer to fulfil its dream of raising a 101-storey iconic tower in the country’s financial capital. The MMRDA is learnt to have put on hold its skyscraper plan, thanks to the current slowdown. As per the earlier plan, the MMRDA had proposed to build the tower at Wadala, along with the bus terminus. Now, it will go ahead with the terminus plan sans the tower. The MMRDA budget for 2010-11 approved on Tuesday makes no mention of the tower plan. Estimated to cost Rs 4,000 crore, the proposed 531-metre tower project has not been able to evoke a very enthusiastic response from infrastructure companies, and the MMRDA had to extend the deadline for submission of bids in July 2009. Meanwhile, public transport projects in Mumbai have been allocated the largest chunk of funds in MMRDA’s budget for the 2010-11 fiscal. The planning agency has proposed an annual outlay of Rs 6,143 crore of which Rs 1,833 crore has been earmarked for Mumbai Metro and mono rail projects. The Mono rail project alone corners Rs 1,453 crore, which is expected to give a big boost to mass transport when it comes on stream in Mumbai by 2010-end. Chief minister Ashok Chavan, who is the president of the MMRDA, cleared the budget on Tuesday. The budget also makes grants available for new initiatives like an innovation park, redevelopment of Nariman Point, water transport, multi-modal corridor and business growth centres. Apart from Mumbai metro and mono rail, the budget also makes a hefty allocation of Rs 493 crore for Mumbai Urban Transport Project and Rs 111 crore for construction of flyovers. Mumbai Urban Infrastructure Project (MUIP) gets Rs 727 crore. MMRDA’s skywalk programme has been given Rs 500 crore and water transport projects have got Rs 100 crore.