Soon, solar energy will be harnessed to illuminate the 5.6-km-long Bandra-Worli Sea Link. The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) has floated bids to appoint a new toll operator, who will also install solar panels on the Bandra-end of the sea link. The panels are expected to be installed by March and the system is expected to be functional by April, said an official.
According to MSRDC officials, the move is in line with Centre’s policy on renewable energy, and aims to reduce the expenditure on electricity by 65% .
“We have floated tenders to appoint a contractor to operate and maintain the sea link and to install solar panels, which will generate electricity to power it,” said Kiran Kurundkar, joint managing director, MSRDC.
The term of the current operator, MEP Infrastructure, ends this month.
Currently, electricity for the sea link — which includes toll plazas and an operation and control centre — is provided at a cost of around Rs1.10 crore annually.
“With solar power, we expect to generate 355 kilowatts (Kw) of energy, which will illuminate the cable-stayed portion, the street lights, the toll plazas and the operation and command centre,” said an official.
The eight-lane sea link — which was opened to traffic in 2009 — was part of a larger plan to upgrade greater Mumbai’s road transportation network. It was constructed to provide an additional outlet from the island city into the suburbs.