THERE is finally some ray of hope for the ambitious Mumbai Trans Harbour Link ( MTHL) project of Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority ( MMRDA) connecting Sewri with Nhava Sheva. The future of the link, which looked bleak as it hadn’t received any bids earlier, now seems bright as the Japanese International Cooperation Agency ( JICA) has shown keen interest in funding the project. JICA is already funding the Colaba- Bandra- Seepz underground metro line three of MMRDA.
Earlier this year, MMRDA had invited bids for the construction of MTHL. Some national and international companies were in the fray for the construction of this ambitious bridge. However, on the last day of the bid submission, none of the companies turned up citing the reason that they didn’t want to take any risk during this period of recession.
After no bidders came forward to bid for the project, the MMRDA faced criticism from all quarters. Questions were raised over the future of this ambitious bridge. MMRDA had even said that it would construct the bridge on its own.
However, now things seem to be looking up with JICA evincing an interest in funding the project. Confirming the same a senior MMRDA official said, “ JICA is interested in giving us loan for the MTHL project. This will help us complete the project quickly.”
The tale of a bridge
The Rs 8,300 crore Mumbai Trans- Harbour Link project, once completed, will be the fourth longest in the world after the 36- km Hangzhou bay bridge in China, the 32- km Donghai Bridge in China and the 26- km King Fahd Causeway linking Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. MTHL will connect Sewri in the island city to Nhava Sheva in Navi Mumbai. The link is 22 km long with a 16.5 km long bridge across Mumbai harbour and 5.5 km long via duct approaches on the Sewri and Nhava Sheva sides. Interchanges are proposed at Sewri to connect to Eastern Freeway and at Chirle to connect to the National Highway 4B to facilitate traffic dispersal. The project involves construction of the longest sea bridge in the country.