The Bandra-Worli sea link was touted as the solution to the city's traffic woes with the state government claiming 1.2 lakh vehicles would use the road by 2011.
However, as per figures released by the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), less than 28,000 vehicles ply on the sea link daily.
A report by Dar Consultants, private consultants appointed for the project in 2006, had claimed that after completion, the sea link would attract 79,335 vehicles in 2009.
It also said the number would increase to 1.2 lakh by 2012 if the sea link was extended to Haji Ali.
However, these traffic estimates are less by around 90,000 vehicles.
This raises doubts over the feasibility of sea links built for the convenience of 2.4% of the city's vehicle-owning population.
Transport expert Ashok Datar criticised the state government's resolve in creating capital-intensive sea links instead of improving public transport systems.
The government plans to build three more sea links worth Rs11,000 crore, but is not willing to spend Rs1,300 crore for the Bus Rapid Transport Project, which will benefit an estimated 4.5 million commuters.
"The bureaucrats are running after big ticket projects and shelling out crores on sea links and bridges. Elementary systems to improve public transport are however neglected," Datar said.
A senior MSRDC official, on condition of anonymity, however, claimed that once the entire sea link, stretching from Versova till Nariman Point, is completed, it will attract more traffic.
MSRDC's acting head Satish Gavai and minister Jaydutt Kshirsagar were unavailable for comment.