Reviving Thane: The Current and Future Plans
Sanjeev Jaiswal, municipal commissioner, Thane Muncipal Corporation (TMC), sheds light on the current and future plans to revive Thane for the modern-day home-buyer and existing residents. Read on...
Q. Which are the current infrastructural projects planned for Thane?
A: We have embarked upon a major drive since the last year and a half to implement the DP as far as the roads are concerned. In the last 18 months, we have been able to acquire around 76 acres of urban built-up land that has been brought under 'road widening'. The value of this land, by very modest estimations, is around Rs 2500-3000 crore.
Q. Which are the roads that are being given a new lease of life?
A: Pokhran Road No 1, 2, 3; Glady Alvares Road; Nisarg Udyan Road (Pokhran 4); Station Road; Kapurbawdi Balkumb Road; Kalwa Road; Mumbra Roads; Kalyan Phata Roads and also, the Ghodbunder Service Road are a few. The entire ambit of all the main roads of the city has been covered and work is being carried out everywhere. We are perhaps the only corporation that has been able to implement 14 percent of DP as far as road network is concerned (in the last 18 months).
Q. Thane appears to be getting an infrastructural facelift, isn't it?
A: To start off, there are the huge flyovers on the Teen Hath Naka side; the Almeida Chowk Mirabai Thakur chawl; the third Kalwa Bridge and two flyovers from Kalyan and Shil Phata. We have finalised the design for the Ghodbunder bypass road; the Foothill road from Airoli to Srinagar to Gaimukh and the Kopri bridge entry plans have also been sanctioned. We are also the first municipal corporation to submit plans for the IWT Inland Water Transport. This will be a system of networks, executed phasewise.The first phase is Thane along with Vasai-Virar, Mira-Bhayander, Bhiwandi and Kalyan; Phase 2 Navi Mumbai and phase 3 Mumbai. The Metro has been sanctioned already and is now being planned to extend to Gaimukh from the earlier plan of Kasarvadavli.
Q. How are you looking at reviving the 'charm' of Thane that it used to be known for earlier, which it may have lost to urbanisation? What has the TMC planned on those lines?
A: Thane is a lake city; there is a master plan in place to revive all the lakes, which can still be managed Kachrali, Upvan, Masunda, Talao Pali, etc. There is an amphitheatre at Upvan Lake; a Benaras ghat; a musical fountain at Upvan; a live band performance that takes place regularly at Masunda Lake. When it comes to the greenery aspect, we had plans of planting 5 lakh trees out of which we have been able to achieve 2.4 lakh and they all have been geo-tagged. We are now on the verge of coming up with a Chowpatty alongside the Thane creek, which is based on the concept of Marina Bay Sands, Singapore and for this ambitious project, we have been able to free up 48 acres of land along the Thane creek.
Q. With summers approaching, how do you plan to tackle water scarcity and other issues?
A: TMC is going in for a 20 mld desalination plant. Plans are also on the anvil to get a 200 mld desalination plant soon.Reuse and recycling of water are being planned as well and we are trying to set up small decentralised sewage plants, with a capacity of 1-3 mld in smaller locations across Thane. As a part of the Swach Bharat Abhiyaan, we are on the verge of becoming an ODF city Open Defecation Free city soon. We are the only corporation that has started converting flower waste into manure; wood waste into fuel brickets; vegetable waste into CNG; animal carcass and waste to biogas; plastic waste to oil and construction and debris waste are also being converted into paver blocks. So, by December 2018 or March 2019, Thane will see scientific processing and disposal of waste from an end-to end perspective.
Q: What about the social infrastructure?
A: We have started the unique concept of 'signal schools' and virtual classrooms; a lot of the Octroi nakas have now been converted into schools, which are all covered under e-learning. We have plans to upgrade the Kalwa hospital and we are also setting up cancer detection and screening centre in Thane. When it comes to the fire, safety and security of Thane, we are upgrading the fire department; a fleet of quick response vehicles will be coming in soon so that they can reach areas where access is limited and tackle the situation at hand immediately. As a part of further beautification of Thane, we have embarked upon the 'paint the city' wall mission where we have already completed around 75,000 sq feet and are now eligible to enter the Guinness Book of World Records.
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