MMRDA out, CIDCO in
With the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) confirming that it will not fund the proposed bridges over Vashi creek that have been planned by the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), the MSRDC has decided that it will now complete the project with the help of the City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra (CIDCO), which has given its approval in principle to partly fund the Rs 600 crore project.
Confirming the development, MSRDC chief engineer S Nandargikar said, “We will go ahead with the construction of two new bridges, parallel to the old Vashi bridge, as it is the need of the hour. At times, massive traffic jams occur on the old bridge. With an increase in number of motorists using the Sion-Panvel highway and those travelling towards Pune, a new bridge is a must. CIDCO has already given in-principle approval to partly fund the Rs 600 crore project.”
The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which heads the MSRDC, had written to the Congress-led MMRDA to fund the project in the past. However, the MMRDA turned down the request stating that there was no need for new bridges. An MMRDA official said, “Constructing a new bridge over Vashi creek to connect Mumbai with Navi Mumbai is of no use because MTHL would be constructed soon. So we informed the MSRDC that we would not be funding it.”
MSRDC officials claimed they want to construct the new bridges to ease traffic flow and prevent snarls in the morning and evening peak hours, as many more motorists use the bridge due to ongoing widening of the Mumbai-Goa Highway.
MSRDC wants to build two bridges on the either side of the existing one and a road link. Each of the bridges would have three lanes to avoid traffic jams and the project would take about two years for completion. The design of the proposed bridges would be similar to the existing one and the construction would be kept simple. One of the reasons why the MSRDC is not opting for a cable-stayed bridge is that it would cost more and consume time. MSRDC would also be seeking monetary help from the Centre for the project.