Roads leading from Chirle to Mumbai-Pune Expressway and Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust will be widened from two-lane to four-lane in order to accommodate increased number of vehicles once MTHL becomes operational

Here's good news for Navi Mumbai residents who have been fretting that the proposed Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) may complicate the traffic situation at their end.

Before the sea link - which will connect Sewri and Nhava Sheva - becomes operational, the roads at the Navi Mumbai end will be ready to receive the increased flow of traffic coming in from Mumbai, officials said.

Representation pic

The two most important routes in the area - the one extending from Chirle to the Mumbai-Pune Expressway and the other ranging from Chirle to the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) - will be widened soon, so they can accommodate and ensure the smooth flow of a high volume of vehicles that will be plying on it, once the sea link is thrown open to vehicular traffic.

The plans were discussed and decided upon in course of a joint site visit undertaken by officials of the different bodies involved in the project. Officials from Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT), JNPT, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO), National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and the Raigad Collector's office visited the starting point of the sea link last Wednesday. 

MMRDA Commissioner Rahul Asthana said, "The visit was made primarily so that the various government bodies can thrash out the issues related to land acquisition for the project, and all parties have a clear picture when it comes to implementation of the plan and answering questions raised by bidders."

CIDCO will be inviting tenders shortly for the widening of the road that extends from Chirle village to the Khalapur toll plaza point of the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, via the National Highway 17. This stretch is 46 km long.

The other road earmarked for widening work is that from Chirle to JNPT, which runs for seven kilometres. "Both the roads will be turned into four-lane highways. CIDCO has started working on land acquisition. The joint site meeting was productive," said Asthana.

The chief objective behind widening the two roads is to handle the increased inflow of traffic, once the MTHL is ready. "We don't want to wait till the eleventh hour, but be ready with the means of traffic dispersal by the time the sea link is ready for commuters," he added.

As per estimates, MMRDA is expecting approximately 44,975 vehicles to use the MTHL daily, and the authority feels the urgency to increase the existing routes from two-lane to four-lane ones at the Navi Mumbai end.
It is also said that the proposed amount to be imposed as toll on vehicles plying on the 22-km long sea link is Rs 200.

The toll story
Rs 200
The expected toll amount charged to vehicles using the 22-km long MTHL

Rs 50
The toll charged to vehicles using the 5.6 km-long Bandra Worli Sea Link

Rs 165
The toll charged to vehicles using the 95 km-long Mumbai-Pune Expressway