MUMBAI: The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has decided to appoint a consultant to prepare a Detailed Project Report (DPR) for extension of Versova-Virar Sea Link till Palghar.
MMRDA had in March approved the proposal to construct a 43km-long Versova-Virar Sea Link for a cost of Rs 63,426 crore, which will provide coastal road connectivity between Nariman Point and Palghar.
“The DPR will help map the alignment and connectors that need to be built along this route,” said an MMRDA official. This sea link bridge will help commuters bypass interior roads while travelling between South Mumbai and Mumbai-Ahmedabad Highway, which witnesses a traffic density of 1.25 lakh passenger car units (PCUs).
Apart from decongesting the existing road network, the sea link to Palghar will also help boost the tourism sector and give a fillip to economic activity. MMRDA has also decided to appoint a consultant to undertake peer review of plans prepared to build the Versova-Virar Sea Link. MMRDA introduced the practice of peer review on the grounds that this action represents the “best industry practices”.
The review will help ascertain if the alignment planned is proper, if hurdles like relief and rehabilitation of project affected persons (PAPs) can be avoided or minimised if environment-related challenges can be overcome smoothly, whether any better alternatives are available, if these project will serve the intended purpose, vetting of cost estimates, etc.
According to the pre-feasibility study, the sea link is proposed to be built with connectors at Charkop, Uttan, Vasai and Virar. The 4+4 lane main bridge will connect Versova and Virar with 3+3 lane connectors at these four locations. The sea link will have the capacity of 60,000 vehicles per day when it is expected to be ready. One-way toll for a car for travel from Versova to Virar is likely to be around Rs 1,000 in 2026.
The decision to opt for developing a sea link came based on options given by Tata Consulting Engineers (TCE) in its pre-feasibility report ordered by the government via Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) in 2019.