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Netherlands to offer help for Mumbai metro, Coastal Road

Mumbai, June 6 (IANS) The Netherlands will offer technical expertise pertaining to the feasibility of combining the Mumbai Metro line 3 and the proposed Coastal Road, giving a speedy north-south connectivity in the city.

Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte said here at a meeting with Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday that worldwide, from Jakarta to Panama to New York, their experts advise governments on how to deal with these challenges.

“I am delighted that they are now doing the same here in Mumbai and that we can share our water expertise, gained over centuries, with you. I hope it will lead to visionary projects in which infrastructure and environment can go hand in hand,” Rutte said.

Last month, a two-member team of Dutch experts had visited Mumbai to study how best to execute the Mumbai Metro-cum-Coastal Road, applying their knowledge of international best practices.

Given the experience the Netherlands has with sustainable land reclamation and the use of the sea, where there is shortage of land, the Dutch government is keen to share its knowledge in this field.

As per the feasibility report by the Dutch experts team, the recommendation involves a new Coastal Road meandering along the city coast and touching it where road and Metro connections with the existing infrastructure are required.

The metro could be connected to newly planned stations of line 3 by underground tunnels with moving walkways, akin to airports, the feasibility report recommends.

Besides drastically reducing the travel time between north and south Mumbai, such a strip of land in the sea has other advantages.

These include no need to acquire land along the present coast, the Coastal Road would serve as a barrier against rising sea levels, lagoons between the present coast and the Coastal Road would serve as buffers to protect the city during monsoon flooding, developing of marinas, parks, beaches, etc.

It would help set up new fishing harbours, construct waste water treatment plants to keep the lagoons clean and supply additional water to Mumbai, with virtually no traffic disruption during construction.

Earlier Saturday morning, Prime Minister Rutte paid tributes to the victims of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack at Hotel Taj Mahal Palace and signed the visitors book.

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