By Prarthana Mitra
The Maharashtra government on Tuesday finalised a deal with Reliance Infrastructure and leading Italian architectural firm Astaldi to build the Versova-Bandra Sea-Link, work on which is scheduled to begin next month. According to the State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), the eight-lane toll bridge is likely to be ready by mid-2023 and would enable commuters to make the commute from one end to the other in 10 minutes instead of the current 90.
More on the mega-project
Thrice the length of the iconic Bandra-Worli sea-link, the new bridge will be 17.17 km long, making it the largest urban infrastructure project of its kind in India. The Rs 7,000 crore project will also involve building exit ramps and link roads to important expressways along its way, especially for motorists. The bridge will have three ramps midway, one at Juhu Koliwada towards the Western Express Highway, two others at Carter Road and at Bandra to be connected with Reclamation via Bandstand.
Furthermore, according to government reports, the southern part of the bridge will be linked to the Bandra-Worli Sea-Link and the northern half will have connectors to Nana Nani Park and Andheri. Travelling from Versova to Worli would, henceforth, involve only one toll stoppage as the rest would be merged with the new one on the bridge.
— MAHARASHTRA DGIPR (@MahaDGIPR) September 5, 2018
“The bridge will attract around 70,000 vehicles, including a major quantum of the 42,000 vehicles taking the Bandra-Worli Sea Link,” said Radhyesham Mopalwar of MSRDC. It will relieve pressure on the existing roads and freeways, and make for seamless travel.
Lalit Jalan, CEO of Reliance Infrastructure, is confident that with partners like Astaldi, the project will be completed ahead of time, even if construction work is stalled during the monsoon seasons. Prolonged and heavy rains will effectively bring down the five-year timeline to three and a half years.
Towards robust and seamless travel
To speed up the Versova-Bandra project, the government has further announced an incentive of Rs.350 crore to the Reliance consortium, if the bridge is ready 6 months before the estimated deadline.
The state and the country at large have recently seen a surge in large-scale infrastructure projects. Earlier this year, a deal was struck by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to build a Hyperloop transit system in Pune, the first of its kind in the country. Earlier this week, the centre’s infrastructure arm announced a strategy to build a robust mobility ecosystem with sustainable fuel, electrification, autonomous vehicles, and one-nation-one-card policy for shared connectivity via public transport.
Prarthana Mitra is a staff writer at Qrius.