Initiatives and Accomplishments for Mumbai: Infrastructure and Transport
From his 1st election in 1984, Mr. Kamat had realised that majority of the citizens of Mumbai utilized the Suburban Train services for daily travel to their work places and back, apart from the BEST services. He had therefore concentrated on ensuring better train services and fully supported and followed up with the Central Government, the Mumbai Urban Transport Project- Phase-II which was conceived to upgrade road, rail and water transport for the City. Through this project he pursued and ensured the implementation of two additional tracks between Kurla and Thane, better signalling systems, additional Rakes for Mumbai suburban sections regularly, to increase the number of train services, implementation of Kurla Terminus, at a cost of Rs 150 Crores when it was completed, which provided facilities of boarding large number of long distance trains from Kurla instead of going all the way to the CST Terminus. This was a boon to Suburban Rail travellers.
He consistently fought for the lengthening of the Platforms to enable 12 coach trains launched on the Central Railway, Western Railway and the Harbour Line, a 25 year struggle which is now seeing completion. He also got 15 coach trains started at the hands of Railway Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee on the Western Railway at Andheri Station in his Constituency in 2009, and an announcement of 100 additional train services for the “AAM MUMBAIKAR” to ensure a better life for them as the Suburban Railways is a lifeline of Mumbaikars.
Mr. Kamat has ensured commencement of a number of long distance trains due to his continuous follow up, to meet the demands of Mumbaikars, travelling to the farthest corners in the South, North and Eastern parts of India.
Mr Kamat through his continuous efforts ensured the sanction and implementation of the Metro Railway (Phase I) costing approximately Rs 4300 Crores from Ghatkopar-Andheri-Versova with viability gap funding of Rs 650 crores from Central Government. The project was inaugurated at the hands of the Honorable Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singhji in Ghatkopar (Mr. Kamat’s then constituency). On request of Senior MMRDA and Metro One Officials, regular meetings have been held at Mr. Kamat's offices to resolve issues and the issues have been sorted out for Early Completion of Metro Phase I. Metro I provides a passenger capacity of 17000 passengers per hour per direction. A train will ply every 4 minutes with total journey time of 22 minutes from Versova to Ghatkopar.
Moreover, Mr. Kamat continued his efforts to ensure funding of critical infrastructure projects for Mumbai and especially the growth of the Metro Rail. Through his efforts approval and sanction of Rs 7500 crores Metro railway (Phase II) with viability gap funding of Rs 2300 crores from Central Government has been possible. Hon’ble President of India Smt. Pratibha Patil inaugurated the phase II of Metro in 2009.
Mono Rail Phase 1 from Chembur to Wadala was inaugurated on February 1st, 2014 and it was Love at first sight for Mumbaikars. 20,000 people rode it on first day of Operations on February 2nd, 2014 and long queues continue.
Besides, he has actively pursued East West Corridor Connectivity with Roads linking Vikhroli with Jogeshwari (now completed), Chembur-SantaCruz (also now Completed) and Mulund-Goregaon Link Road (Pending due to environmental clearances).
Through Mr. Kamat’s consistent efforts to get changes in the CRZ regulations, so that Mumbai’s Coastal areas can be developed for the benefit of its citizens, Versova -Goregaon Link Road pending for many years, will now be approved due to the recent CRZ notification.
Mr. Kamat, realizing the need for various modes of transport for Mumbai citizens, took up the issue of Water Transport with the then Union Surface Transport Minister Shri Rajesh Pilot in 1987 and organized a meeting between him and the then Chief Minister of Maharashtra Shri Sharad Pawar and got the necessary approvals for Water Transport connectivity from Nariman Point to Worli to Bandra, to Versova, Malad on the Western side and Nariman Point to Trombay and Navi Mumbai on the Eastern Side. Catemaran services commenced on the eastern side for a few years, but due to environmental issues, the entire project got stalled. Mr. Kamat however persisted with his follow-up and all necessary permissions have now been given by the Ministry of Environment, Government of India and this mode of transport should be available for Mumbai Citizens shortly.