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Mumbai's infra is key to make it city of dreams

Our Mumbai Bureau | Updated on November 14, 2017

A view of Bandra Worli Sea Link in Mumbai. - Paul Noronha

Mumbai has long been acknowledged as the financial capital of the country. A burgeoning number of people continue to come in to city to pursue their dreams. And to do justice to its tag ‘city of dreams', Mumbai has to create the infrastructure backbone to support those dreams.

Mumbai's infrastructure demands have to be understood in context. Ranked among the world's top 10 revenue-generators, Mumbai contributes five per cent of the country's GDP, and accounts for 25 per cent of industrial output.

The island city is home to important financial institutions such as the Reserve Bank of India, Bombay Stock Exchange, National Stock Exchange of India and the capital markets regulator, SEBI. It is also the corporate headquarters of numerous Indian and multinational companies.

It houses some of the country's premier scientific and nuclear institutes such as Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Nuclear Power Corporation of India, Indian Rare Earth, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board and the Department of Atomic Energy.

It is not without the requisite infrastructure that these institutions continue to power the country; but there is an incessant need to strengthen the backbone.

INFRASTRUCTURE

The Maharashtra Government has been constantly investing in the infrastructure that keeps the financial capital going. It has ongoing infrastructure projects worth Rs 50,000 crore comprising the Bandra-Worli sea-link, the metro rail, monorail, skywalks and flyovers, among others. Infrastructure supports industries in multiple ways, and is key to job creation. The State has 146 special economic zones, the highest in the country. These SEZs, with an aggregate investment of Rs 1,88,738 crore, are expected to generate 65 lakh jobs.

The State Government has allocated Rs 4,825 crore to Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) for fiscal 2012-'13, to focus on completing mega-infrastructure projects in and around Mumbai. MMRDA intends to utilise the funds for completing mega-projects such monorail and metro rail lines, an elevated road near the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport at Sahar, and important roads in and around Mumbai.

With continuous expansion in the quest for space, Mumbai's future growth relies heavily on satellite towns. The connectivity between Mumbai and other satellite towns will improve with MMRDA taking up crucial projects such as the 22 km Mumbai-Trans Harbour Link, the city's second sea-bridge after the Rajiv Gandhi Bandra-Worli Sea Link. It will spend Rs 8,800 crore over four to five years.

Multimodal corridor

Another major infrastructure project is the 126 km-long Virar-Alibag multi-modal corridor linking Thane, Mumbai and Raigad districts. It is being implemented in two phases - Virar-Chirner (79 km) and Chirner-Alibaug (47 km) - at a cost of Rs 9,326 crore.

Deepening sea channels

Mumbai has two large ports – Mumbai Port Trust (MPT) and Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) – providing gateways for the import-export business. The Centre recently approved a Rs 1,571-crore proposal to deepen the sea channels of MPT and JNPT to allow entry to bigger international container vessels. Once completed in 25 months, JNPT will become the hub for the West coast. Each of these developments is critical to Mumbai retaining its title of financial capital and growing in stature on a global scale. Mr Satyen Gandhi, Vice-President (Business Development), Express Equipment Rental and Logistics, said the equipment rental business in the coming years will look up. A large number of new projects are coming up in power, steel and cement. But at the same time, slowdown in credit and extension of credit period by clients has been evident in the last one year. This trend will affect growth of rental business. “However, we are optimistic since this trend as a cycle will phase out in couple of months due to companies expecting a turn-around,” he said.

ENTERTAINMENT HUB

What's Mumbai without Bollywood? Business is big here, and so is the entertainment business. It has always been. But the scope of this business is changing, driven by technology.

The city's early star adopters paved the way for more to follow. The glam quotient, a city lifestyle and higher standard of living – whether one could afford it or simply aspired for it - attracted the booming film (and later Television) industries.

Taking inspiration from Hollywood in the US, the film industry is referred to as Bollywood. And like in the US, here too youngsters come in, in droves. The world's largest movie-making city churns out around 900 films a year. And like Hollywood, the appeal of films it churns out is now universal.

Many of the film studios that have created history were established in Mumbai. Some of the oldest film studios include R.K., Rajkamal, Famous, Mehboob, Kamalistan, Filmistan and Film City.

Started in 1977 by the Maharashtra Government, Film City in Goregaon is considered the largest Studio Complex in Mumbai, spread over 520 acres. There the studio is located in the middle of hills and forest and frilled by the beautiful Vihar and Powai lakes, and even an artificial lake. The entertainment infrastructure has grown in the age of convergence to encompass post production and animation work for global projects too. And the results are showing.

Published on March 29, 2012

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