Mumbai is set to witness another significant visit from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 19, commemorating Shivaji Jayanti. Following the recent inauguration of the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link, the Prime Minister will unveil a segment of the coastal road during this visit. Additionally, he is scheduled to lay the foundation stone for the ambitious Vadhvan Port in Palghar, along with two tunnels – the Thane Borivali twin tunnel and the Goregaon Mulund underground tunnel – aimed at enhancing road connectivity under the national park.
Officials familiar with the matter have disclosed that the first phase of the coastal road is nearing completion. Prime Minister Modi is slated to inaugurate the southward lane, spanning from Breach Candy to Marine Drive, on February 19.
Post the inaugural ceremony, the Prime Minister will proceed to Azad Maidan, where he is expected to address a rally alongside Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and his deputies, Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar.
The Vadhavan Port, a flagship project of the central government and the largest port in Maharashtra, awaits its final clearance from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests after receiving approval from the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority. The Jawaharlal Nehru Port Authority and Maharashtra Maritime Board are jointly developing this significant project.
The Thane Borivali tunnel, passing underneath the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, is under development by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority. A total of 237 trees are slated for felling to accommodate the tunnel.
Meanwhile, the Mulund Goregaon link road, overseen by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, has Aaditya Thackeray, the Shiv Sena UBT Leader, conducting the bhoomi poojan in April 2022. The Goregaon Mulund tunnel will witness the Prime Minister’s bhoomi poojan.
The GMLR project, initially planned in the 1960s for east-west connectivity but halted due to concerns over forested areas, has seen a change in alignment. Now passing under Vihar Lake, it holds promise for improved connectivity.
State officials have assured that the Prime Minister’s visit on February 19, a public holiday in observance of Shiv Jayanti, will not disrupt traffic in Mumbai. During his visit, Prime Minister Modi is also expected to travel to Pune and Satara, according to officials.