Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday inspected the under-construction Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link (MTHL) project, India's "longest" sea bridge that will reduce the travel time between the metropolis and and its satellite city Navi Mumbai, by taking a test drive on it.
The chief minister termed the project as "game changer", while Fadnavis said it will be considered an "engineering marvel".
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has completed the Mumbai-bound carriageway of the project, also known as the Sewri-Nhava Sheva Trans Harbour Link, a 22-km long and six-lane access-controlled expressway grade bridge. The bridge begins at Sewri in south Mumbai and terminates at Chirle near Nhava Sheva in neighbouring Raigad district.
An MMRDA official said it is the longest sea bridge in the country.
A small function was held on the deck of the bridge, following which Shinde and Fadnavis went for a test drive towards Navi Mumbai in the CM's private high-end car. Fadnavis drove the car in which MMRDA chief SVR Srinivas travelled with them. The test drive was conducted on a stretch of around 15 km till the Navi Mumbai end and back. It lasted for around 30 minutes.
Speaking to reporters after the test drive, CM Shinde said the project will be a "game changer" and it will further be connected to the Mumbai-Pune Expressway and the Mumbai-Goa National Highway.
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"This bridge will connect Chirle, which we feel would become the third Mumbai. This sea bridge will become an avenue for future growth centre and connect the mainland in just 20 minutes instead of one-and-a-half hours required now. The MTHL is designed for vehicular speed of 100 kmph," Shinde said, adding that it will save time and fuel.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be invited for the inauguration of the bridge once it is completed in November, he added.
The bridge would turn out to be the growth centre for social and economic development of Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Raigad district. Educational, industrial and service sectors will be developed in the region known as third Mumbai, Shinde said.
When asked about how much amount motorists will have to shell out for driving on MTHL, Shinde said it will be affordable for the common man.
Environmental balance has been maintained in this project and latest technology has been used for protecting the habitat of flamingos, he said.
Fadnavis said this sea bridge will be considered an engineering marvel.
"Mumbai is the financial, commercial and entertainment capital. The island city had limitations for the growth, but MTHL has solved this problem. The route of Maharashtra's trillion dollar economy will pass over MTHL," he said.
A tunnel has been proposed from the Eastern Freeway that will take motorists directly to Nariman Point within five minutes.
In December last year, Shinde and Fadnavis had gone for a similar test drive of the Mumbai-Nagpur Samruddhi Mahamarg between Nagpur and Shirdi a few days before it was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)