Maharashtra government exploring feasibility of building 42-km long Versova-Virar sea link
Government mulls a connector between west Mumbai and the far-off suburb, orders study to check if project is technically, economically feasiblemumbai Updated: Sep 05, 2018 10:34 IST
In an ambitious move, the state government is exploring the feasibility of building a sea link between Versova in western Mumbai and Virar, a far-flung suburb around 30km from Borivli.
The state has directed the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) to come up with a detailed study on the feasibility of the 42-km sea link.
“Now that we have awarded the contract for the Versova-Bandra sea link, the state cabinet has directed us to go conduct a feasibility study for the extension up to Virar. Louis Berger Group has been asked to look at the techno-economic feasibility. The report is likely to come by the year-end,” said Radheshyam Mopalwar, vice-chairman and managing director, MSRDC.
Transport experts, however, have questioned the idea, terming it a “waste” of public funds. “The government should look at improving public transport in and around Mumbai, and introduce new modes of public transport, instead of wasting money like this,” said AV Shenoy, a transport expert.
He suggested extending Metro corridors up to Virar, so “common man” can travel comfortably.
“The Bandra-Worli sea link is a classic example of how the users are not what the government had predicted in their studies. Only cars travel on the sea link, not common man,” he said.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has already proposed a coastal road up to Kandivli.
Even as experts feel the proposed sea link duplicates the coastal road plan to decongest roads in suburban Mumbai, Mopalwar said MSRDC would consult the BMC during the planning.
Senior MSRDC officials said it is difficult to quote the estimated cost of the proposed sea link. “Once the feasibility report is submitted and a detailed report is ready, only then we can arrive at a definite cost. However, as of today, considering the length and number of interchanges, it is expected to cost between ₹20,000 crore to ₹25,000 crore,” the official said, requesting anonymity, as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
The concept plan of the sea link proposes interchanges at Madh Island, Kandivli, Gorai, Bhayander, Vasai and Virar. Mopalwar said the mammoth project, once approved by the government, could be taken up in phases.
The sea link, if it materialises, would be parallel to the existing Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway up to Virar and bring down the travel time considerably.
First Published: Sep 05, 2018 01:18 IST