Andaman Marine Drive likely to kick off in Dec 18

Rs 400 cr < 24.47 km stretch to connect 7 jetties < 2021 target date < CRZ clearance under process
Report by: 
ROOPA LALL
Port Blair
24 Sep 2018

Following announcement by the Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation GOI, Mr Nitin Gadkari, in October last year, the Andaman Public Works Department is now set to embark on an ambitious project for construction of a 24.47 km long Andaman Marine Drive. The ambitious project from Prem Nagar to Dundas Point via Minnie Bay, Dollygunj, Attam Pahad, Garacharma, Sippighat, Lal Pahad, Chouldari, Badmas Pahaad, Mithakhadi, Hatitapu) will pass through the sea shore and the creeks offering commuters a splendid ride. While the project will prove a boon for the residents of Dundus Point and adjoining areas, who presently have to depend on the ferry services to commute between Port Blair and their homes, the shoreline road passing will set off many to have a joy ride with their dear ones in the city, which is otherwise haunted for want of recreational resources.
As per reports, stage 1 clearance of Coastal Zone Management under chairmanship of CS has already been accorded, while clearance for Stage -2 from New Delhi is presently awaited. Field surveys for the ambitious project is being conducted and the project is expected to be kicked off by December this year. “Andaman Public Works Department has set a target to complete the Andaman Marine Drive project in the next three years. Works are on to obtain necessary clearance for forest and defence land. Surveys are being conducted to make sure minimum acquisition of forest land and diversion. Removal of encroachments, mainly in Junglighat is one major challenge for us. Alternate alignments for the project are also being explored. Fully funded by the Centre, APWD aims to execute the project by 2021,” said a senior official of APWD, who didn’t wish his name to be quoted.
To be executed at an estimated cost of Rs 400 crore, the Andaman Marine Drive will be of 30 mtr width with two lane carriage way (7.5 mtrs (width) x 2), cycle track of 2 mtrs  on both lanes, footpath of 2 mtrs on both sides, 2 mtr median and shoulder of 1 mtr each on both sides. In the first phase, the Andaman Marine Drive will provide shore connectivity between Premnagar to Dandus Point etc for a stretch of 24.75 kms, while Dundus Point to North Bay will be taken up in the second phase. The project will ensure shortest connectivity between Prem Nagar to Minnie Bay, Sippighat, Chouldhari, Mithakhari, Dundas Point and facilitate movement of good traffic from Haddo to others parts of South Andaman. Besides boosting tourism, the project will also provide much needed relief from traffic congestion for residents in the South Andaman region.
“We have heard of Mumbai Marine Drive - the 3 km long stretch along the natural bay of the Arabian Sea. If APWD constructs the marine road on the lines of Mumbai, the Marine road stretch will offer the best walkway to take a refreshing saunter next to the sparkling waters of the Andaman Sea. Port Blairarians suffering from the increasing traffic congestion will have one stretch to enjoy a long drive along the sea on their vehicles. The residents of Dundus Point and nearby areas will too be relieved of commuting on the vehicle ferries,” said some local residents.