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Zip across sea link to E-way

mumbai Updated: Mar 10, 2010 01:07 IST
Zeeshan Shaikh

A sea link that connects you to the Mumbai-Pune Expressway?

That’s the new plan for the Sewri-Nhava trans-harbour link, a senior MMRDA official has confirmed.

The 22-km sea bridge was originally meant to connect Mumbai (via Sewri) with Navi Mumbai (via Nhava Sheva) but could now include a 28-km direct road link to Khopoli, offering Mumbaiites a high-speed corridor to the Mumbai-Pune Expressway.

This new plan has been proposed by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), which is in the running to build the link. “The trans-harbour link would have earlier terminated at Shirle, near Panvel,” said the MMRDA official. “We now plan to extend it to Khopoli, which will give direct access to the Mumbai-Pune Expressway.”

While MMRDA Metropolitan Commissioner Ratnakar Gaikwad declined comment on the plan, the official has said the extension is expected to cost about Rs 500 crore.

But it is not the funding that threatens to delay the project.

The MMRDA is currently in the midst of a tug-of-war with the Maharashtra State Road Corporation over who gets to build the mutli-crore link — which includes plans for a parallel Metro line.

On Monday, a meeting with Union Surface Transport Secretary Brahm Dutt to review how the project could be built ended with him suggesting the two agencies bury the hatchet and work together, pooling resources and forming a special purpose vehicle to implement the project.

MMRDA is not keen on this and officials met with the chief minister on Tuesday to try and swing the project their way. “The control of too many agencies will keep investors at bay. We are the most suited to build the project,” the MMRDA official said.

The chief minister is likely to take a decision on Wednesday.