Mumbai, India (Urban Transport News): The first kickoff meeting for Station Area development along Mumbai -Ahamedabad High speed Rail Project was held at MMRDA office in Mumbai on 16th May 2023. Senior officials from MoHUA, TCPO, MOR, MRVC, NHSRCL, Govt. of Maharashtra, MMRDA, TMC, VVMC, Japan Embassy, JICA HQ, JICA India Office & team JICA experts were present.
The meeting was part of series of Seminars and Field Visits for the Project–SMART to be held in Delhi, Ahmedabad and Mumbai. This series was jointly organized by Govt. of India, Maharashtra, Gujarat and JICA.
While deliverig his keynote address at the meeting, S.V.R. Srinivas, IAS & Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA said, "MMRDA is honored to have the starting point of the first ever Bullet Train of India, at BKC. The stations area development around the HSR Stations will ease the transit between the residential and office areas. It will minimize the dependency on road transport with a focus on last mile connectivity. There are technical and institutional parts to carry out this Project. MMRDA is keen to be part of this multilayer institution mechanism to make this project Successful."
On 8th May 2023, the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA) and Ministry of Railways jointly signed a MoU with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for ‘Station Area Development along Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail’ (Project-SMART). The MoU was inked for four High Speed Rail Stations- Sabarmati, Surat in Gujarat and Virar and Thane in Maharashtra.
The Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail project is being implemented by the National High Speed Rail Corporation Ltd (NHSRCL) for an estimated cost of Rs 1.08 Lakh crore. The project comprises 12 stations spread across 508 kms & having speed of about 320 to 350 kmph. The project shall benefit the commuters and industries of Mumbai city, Thane, Vasai, Virar, Boisar, Tarapur, Palghar and other places of North Maharashtra. Out of 12 stations in the alignment of Mumbai Ahamedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR), 4 stations are located in Maharashtra namely BKC, Thane, Virar and Boisar which comprises the length of 156 km.
The deliberations of the Seminars would contribute in preparation of ‘Station Area Development Plans for Sabarmati, Surat, Virar and Thane HSR Stations and model handbook, containing experiences and methodologies adopted in Japan, India and other countries for Transit Oriented Development (TOD) and Station Area Development.
The main objective of the seminar is to facilitate the development of surrounding areas of the selected stations of Mumbai Ahamadabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR) in order to optimise economic return of the project as a whole and to develop the station as converging hub, thus giving enormous public benefits by way of helping to the vibrant economic & transport activities.
Project-SMART of MoHUA envisages to develop surrounding areas of Mumbai - Ahmedabad High Speed Railway (MAHSR) Stations to enhance accessibility and convenience of commuters & other stakeholders and to promote economic activities in the vicinity of station areas. The project would facilitate and enhance institutional capacity of State Governments, Municipal Corporations and Urban Development Authorities like MMRDA to plan, develop and manage surrounding areas of Mumbai– Ahmedabad high-speed rail stations.