The battle between the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) and the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) over who gets to build the Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link seems to be going MMRDA’s way.
MMRDA officials held a marathon meeting with Chief Minister Ashok Chavan on Tuesday. The officials, including MMRDA chief Ratnakar Gaikwad, made their case and proposed that the sealink be extended to Khopoli, near the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. This would mean a cost increase of Rs 968 crore, from Rs 8,311 crore to Rs 9,279 crore.
If the extension is okayed, the 22-km Sewri-Nhava sealink would be extended by 28 km, providing a link from the Sewri Interchange to the expressway.
“We told the CM how MMRDA was best suited to handle the project. He agreed,” Gaikwad said.
The sea bridge, India’s longest, will be the long-awaited link across the bay and beyond to the sprawl of residential projects and industries planned across the eastern seaboard.
It is likely to carry 50,000 vehicles every day, easing the pressure on the expressway, National Highway 4 and the Mumbai-Goa Highway. It is particularly important for the last highway because it is expected to see heavy traffic once the new international airport is built at Panvel.
MMRDA is keen on building the six-lane bridge with a Metro line alongside.
MMRDA and MSRDC have been at loggerheads about who should build the project. MSRDC had submitted plans for a Rs 7,761-crore eight-lane bridge, but now the chances of it bagging the project look slim.
“We have experience in building sealinks in Mumbai. However, it is up to the government to decide who should implement the project,” MSRDC Joint Managing Director Sonia Sethi said.