Finally, the decks have been cleared for India's second sea-bridge,the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) project. With the Union Ministry of Finance sanctioning the Viability Gap Funding to the tune of Rs. 1,920 crores for the project, that will connect Sewri with Nhava Sheva, the planning authority can now invite the tenders for the link.
The 22-km sea bridge – from the sea front at Sewri to Chirle, connecting NH-4B – is expected to provide an answer to the traffic woes of the city. Besides decongesting the island city of Mumbai the link will provide connectivity to MbPT and JNPT ports and afford quicker access to Navi Mumbai International Airport. It will not only provide connectivity to commuters traveling towards Thane-Nashik, Navi Mumbai, Panvel-Pune and further to southern India. The sea bridge is also expected to boost the economical growth to the whole of Raigad District and its surrounding areas.
The 22-km long link will be 27 mtr wide and provide 3+3 lanes besides providing edge strip and crash barrier. The six-lane, 27-metre wide MTHL will have noise barriers near Sewri as part of environmental requirements and view barriers near the high-security BARC station in Trombay.
The all-crucial sea-bridge is expected to carry more than 62,000 passenger car units in the year 2019 and an annual growth of about 5% is estimated.
The MMRDA has also undertaken a few additional corridors to facilitate the anticipated traffic dispersal. The 17-km long Eastern Freeway which runs from Orange Gate to Ghatkopar-Mankhurd Link Road is a key link for effective dispersal of traffic. This Freeway is likely to be completed in May 2013.
The 4.25 km Sewri-Worli (East-West) elevated connector running from Sewri Railway station to Dr. Annie Besant Road (Worli) wll provide east connectivity at the Sewri Interchange of the MTHL. The Detailed Project Report for this elevated connector is nearing completion. The third major connector for traffic dispersal is the Chirle-NH17-Mumba-Pune Expressway Connector. The feasibility study for this project is also underway.
The project has been recommended for CRZ clearance in September 2012, by the Expert Appraisal Committee of the MoEF, GOI. The Prequalification of the MTHL has been completed and major Indian and International companies participated therein. MMRDA has shortlisted 5 consortia namely M/s. CINTRA – SOMA –SREI, M/s. Gammon–OHL Concessions–G.S. Engineering, M/s. GMR–L & T Ltd–Samsung, M/s.IRB–Hyundai and M/s.Tata Realty and Infrastructure Limited–Autostrade–Vinci Concessions.
Consultant M/s.ARUP-CES-KPMG Consortium, have taken up all the studies and bid process management. The project with an estimated cost of Rs. 9,630-crore will be implemented on a public-private partnership basis. The construction period will be five years.
The toll on the MTHL will be Rs.220 for cars, Rs.565 for light commercial vehicles, Rs.765 for trucks/buses and Rs.1,000 or above for heavy commercial vehicles/multi-axle vehicles. The toll structure would be reviewed every five years.