Jan 18 2013, 9:18am CST | by Luigi Lugmayr
Mumbai, Jan 18 — With the central government clearing a Rs.1,920 crore viability gap funding (VGF), the decks have been cleared for India's second sea-bridge, the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) project, officials said here Friday.
"This decision of the central government has paved the way for the bidding process of the estimated Rs.9,630-crore MTHL. We hope to start the execution by the year-end and make the bridge operational within the next five years," Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) joint director (projects) Dilip Kavathkar, told IANS.
The central government will contribute 20 percent of the total cost of the project, 20 percent will come from MMRDA with the remaining 60 percent coming from the private partner.
Coming barely five years after the Rajiv Gandhi Bandra-Worli Sea Link was made operational, the 22-km long MTHL will provide a crucial connection from Sewri in Mumbai to Chirle in Navi Mumbai aross the harbour.
Besides providing connectivity to NH-4B, easing traffic congestion in Mumbai and across the mainland, MTHL will entail precious savings in time and fuel.
It will help decongest south Mumbai and provide direct connectivity to Mumbai Port Trust, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust and the proposed new international airport near Navi Mumbai.
"With excellent connectivity to Thane, Nashik, Pune, Navi Mumbai and further to southern India, the MTHL will boost economical growth of entire Raigad and its surroundings," Kavathkar said.
The six-lane, 27-metre wide MTHL will have noise barriers near Sewri as part of environmental requirements and view barriers near the high-security BARC station in Trombay.
It is expected to carry around 62,000 passenger car units in 2018 with an estimated five percent annual growth.
To handle the anticipated traffic, Kavathkar said the MMRDA has undertaken a few additional corridors, one of which is the 17-km long Eastern Freeway Project, running from south Mumbai to Ghatkopar-Mankhurd Link Road, which will be operational by May 2013.
Supplementing this will be the 4.25 km Sewri-Worli elevated connector providing the east connectivity at the Sewri Interchange of MTHL and a third proposed connector will be at the Chirle-NH17-Mumbai-Pune Expressway connector.
The toll on the MTHL will be Rs.220 for cars, Rs.565 for light commercial vehicles, Rs.765 for trucks/buses and Rs.1,000 or above for heavy commercial vehicles/multi-axle vehicles. The toll structure would be reviewed every five years.
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