Mumbai: Finally, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) has received coastal clearances for 9.5-km Versova-Bandra Sea Link (VBSL). Construction work is likely to start from October 1, 2017. The Rs 7,500-crore sea link project is a part of BMC’s much-criticised Coastal Road project.
Tenders are expected to be finalised in the next three months. The corporation has short listed five companies for the construction of the VBSL, which is an extension to the existing 5.6-km Bandra-Worli Sea Link. MSRDC has also asked them to submit their final proposals.
The project has faced opposition from Juhu residents as the earlier proposed road was a tunnel road underneath the beach.
Moreover, the new proposed road has fishermen upset since the construction would destroy mangroves and affect marine life. The protesters claim it would also affect the livelihood of Koliwadas that are there since very long.
MSRDC officials say the project will help solve the city’s major traffic issues since the connectivity will ease traffic congestion on the Western Express Highway.
A senior MSRDC officials told FPJ, “There has been a major growth in the Western suburbs in the last few years, especially around areas like Andheri, Goregaon, Borivali and the road traffic has hassled Mumbaikars with growing number of vehicles and insufficient connectivity. It has been studied that about 50% of the traffic going towards South Mumbai is originating from suburbs beyond Bandra like Andheri, Bandra, Goregaon.
Once VBSL is completed, the traffic of northern suburbs will not have to take a long route from SV Road or Western Express Highway to reach Bandra.”
MSRDC is already finding it difficult to generate funds for its ambitious Rs 46,000 crore Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway since it has asked five government bodies to give Rs 1000 crore each. The 9.5-km VBSL will be a cable-stayed bridge just like BWSL. VBSL is part of the coastal road being constructed by the BMC that will connect south Mumbai with the western suburbs.