Mumbai: India's second
major bridge across the sea - the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL)
- has been accorded formal approval, Maharashtra Chief Minister
Prithviraj Chavan said Thursday.
The MTHL, estimated to cost around Rs.10,000 crore, will connect
Mumbai island with the mainland at Raigad district, adjoining the
metropolis and shall be implemented by the Mumbai Metropolitan
Region Development Authority (MMRDA).
The eight-lane MTHL would be the second sea-link in the country,
after the five km long Rajiv Gandhi Bandra-Worli Sea Link,
inaugurated two years ago.
"Easier and faster connectivity is crucial for the overall
development of any region and the metropolitan region deserves the
same thrust as much as the city of Mumbai," said Chavan.
Chavan, who is also the MMRDA chairman, added that the entire
MMRDA area has been identified as "a growth centre and to give it
its due recognition, we need to put in all the efforts as far as
road connectivity is concerned".
"The MMRDA board formally accorded the implementation of MTHL
project on public-private basis," an official from chief
minister's office said shortly after the 129th board meeting.
However, no time-frame for its completion has been announced.
The total length of the main cable-stayed bridge plus the approach
viaduct and road portion of MTHL is expected to be nearly 22 km.
However, there is also a proposal to construct an additional
28-km-long road to connect it to the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, and
add a railway line to the MTHL.
Officials said that MTHL is expected to serve as a catalyst of
development of the city by promoting horizontal growth as against
the vertical growth experienced over the past few years.
"Besides reducing congestion and pollution in Mumbai, MTHL will
benefit the Mumbai Port Trust, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, CIDCO,
Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation, several SEZs coming up in the
area and the new international airport coming up near Panvel," an
MMRDA official said.
The MTHL, considered the state government's most ambitious project
after RGBWSL, will be a world-class infrastructure project.
There are two similar bridges, including the 36-km long Hangzhou
Bay Bridge in China and the 26-km long King Fahd Causeway in Saudi