MUMBAI: With an eye on the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the Eknath Shinde Government in Maharashtra is gearing up complete major development projects this year. Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link (MTHL), the longest sea bridge in India, will be laid open to the public in November. Almost 90 per cent of the civil work on the bridge has been completed.
The bridge will connect South Mumbai to Navi Mumbai and Raigad.
It will be the first in the country to have an Open Road Tolling (ORT) system, a technology in use in countries like Singapore where a vehicle does not have to stop to pay toll. Of its 22 km length, 16.5 km will traverse the sea. The Trans-Harbour Link will also be connected to the under-construction eight-lane coastal highway which begins from Marine Drive to the Worli end of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link.
On January 11, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) launched the first longest Orthotropic Steel Deck (OSD) in package 2 of MTHL – which is 180-metre-long and weighs 2,300 metric tonne. Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is providing an Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan for this project.
Talking to media persons recently, Chief Minister Shinde said that MTHL will reduce travel time between Mumbai and Navi Mumbai from three hours to just 15 minutes. “This bridge will give a big boost to the economy. It will save a lot of fuel and also help in reducing air pollution,” he said.
Shinde added that his Government was working with Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to begin various developmental works in Mumbai. He alleged that there had not been any real work in the city in the past few years.
“We are working with the BMC. Sewage treatment plants, potholefree roads, hospitals, etc. will be our primary focus. Mumbai will change soon,” Shinde said. Most importantly, the impact of this project will not only benefit Mumbai but also the country at large. As the islands get connected with the mainland, it will open up new avenues for further growth.