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Navy drops a bomb, says watch out for ammo during Versova-Bandra sea link work

Tells MSRDC to tread with caution, with earlier instances of missiles, grenades being found on the sea bed

mumbai Updated: Sep 08, 2018 01:13 IST
Swapnil Rawal
Swapnil Rawal
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Navy,Versova-Bandra sea link
The Bandra-Worli sea link in Mumbai. The Maharashtra government recently signed an agreement with a consortium to build the 17.17km Versova-Bandra Sea Link from October.(HT FILE)

As the plan for the Versova-Bandra sea link takes shape, the Indian Navy has a word of caution for the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC): Keep an eye on any ammunition or unexploded shells on the seabed during the construction.

The advisory came as MSRDC, the nodal agency for construction of sea links on the west coast, approached the Navy for a no-objection certificate (NOC).

“They gave us the NOC, but told us to inform them if we stumble upon any kind of ammunition. We will take all precautions and in case we find any ammunition or anything that we can’t classify as rock, we will inform the Navy,” said a senior MSRDC official, who attended the meeting.

The 17.17-km sea link will be constructed at an average of 900m from the coast, while the farthest portion of the sea link will be about 1.3km inside the sea at Juhu.

With Mumbai having a history of maritime warfare during the colonial era and World War II, unexploded shells or ammunition cache could be found while construction.

In April 2014, a dredging operation off Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust in the Arabian Sea led to discovery of 83 bomb shells, several missiles, hand grenades and bullets. Earlier in April, a farmer found a live bomb dating back to World War II while he was tilling his land in Wada, Palghar district.

Another official, who was part of the meeting, said the subject was not on the agenda, but was discussed briefly by Naval officers. “During our presentation, the Navy officials cited previous instances where shells were found while digging and dredging activities undertaken in the sea.” When contacted, the Navy spokesperson declined to comment on the issue. Shankar Dhote, chief engineer, (special projects), MSRDC, declined to speak on the issue.

First Published: Sep 08, 2018 01:13 IST