MTHL: Flamingos don’t desert Sewri mud-flats

Mumbai: State Chief Minister (CM) Uddhav Thackeray launched the first girder of the much-awaited Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link (MTHL) comprising of 1,000 metric tonnes at Sewri on Wednesday.

After taking stock of the project work from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) officials, he said that the project will be completed on time.

“The project work is in full swing and being executed at a faster pace. I am told that this project can be completed even before its scheduled date,” said the CM.

Meanwhile, the CM, who is also known for his love for wildlife photography was happy to see the migratory birds visiting the site near MTHL. The six-lane bridge will connect Sewri in the island city to Nhava in Raigad district, thus reducing the travel time between South Mumbai and Navi Mumbai.

RA Rajeev, MMRDA commissioner said, “This 22-km long bridge is the longest bridge on the sea, which involves several engineering marvels and milestone in its construction.

There are more than 10,700 segments in this gigantic bridge that are pre-casted and all segments are of different specification. Besides, all required permissions have been obtained from different agencies and we are confident of completing the project on time.”

Since the sea bridge falls in the vicinity of the flamingo mud-flats, environmentalists had opposed the project. However, Rajeev asserted, “All the environmental concerns that were raised during the onset of the project have been well taken care of and one can see that flamingos have not run away from the vicinity of the project.

Sound barriers, lighting arrangements and other precautionary measures have been adopted and therefore the number of migratory birds, on the contrary, have increased in this mud pan land of Sewri.”

The MTHL bridge will have two interchanges, first at Shivaji Nagar in Sewri and second at village Chirle, near the national highway 4B. According to MMRDA’s estimate, over 70,000 vehicles will pass through this country’s longest sea bridge, once it is thrown open for motorists, thus saving their time and fuel.

Project’s civil work divided into three packages

* 1st package —10.4 km bridge

* 2nd package — 7.8-km bridge

* 3rd package — 3.8-km viaduct

* 22-km long sea bridge in India

* Estimated total project cost is Rs 17,843 crore