As work on much awaited Mumbai Trans Harbour Link is expected to start in Dec
Mumbai : The preliminary design work by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on the much-awaited Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) has been completed and the actual construction is expected to start in December. According to a senior MMRDA official, once the preliminary design is handed over by JICA, it will then be fleshed out by the designated contractors.
The contracts, however, are yet to be awarded. The next big milestone on this key link connecting south Mumbai to Nhava Sheva would be the award of contracts, the official said.
The link once built would be the country’s longest bridge. Special design features have been incorporated into the bridge design to ensure minimal damage to the mudflats.
[alert type=”e.g. warning, danger, success, info” title=””]As far as the rehabilitation plan for flamingos goes, Thane Creek has been decided as a sanctuary. “There are plans to declare few other places as sanctuaries. According to Deepak Apte of BNHS, “as a mitigation measure, two areas in Navi Mumbai and one in Uran will be designated as sanctuaries.” [/alert]
MTHL design involves a navigation span that would be constructed on six locations of the link for the boats and cargo ships to pass. This was decided after the guidelines were issued by the maritime board.
Two temporary jetties of seven to 10 metres width would be constructed three metres above the mudflats on both the ends of Navi Mumbai and Sewri to ensure machinery movement. This has been planned to ensure as little damage to mudflats as much as possible.
According to MMRDA officials 47 hectares of the mangroves forests would have to be cleared for the project.
However, MMRDA sources said that only 0.17 hectares of mangroves would be affected during the construction of the link. “The Forest Department plans to plant 230 hectares of mangroves near Dahanu to make up for this loss,” said the official.
Since people residing at Sewri would be affected by the proposed link, MMRDA also has plans to rehabilitate them elsewhere as in situ rehabilitation is not possible in this case, he said.
As far as the rehabilitation plan for flamingos goes, Thane Creek has been decided as a sanctuary. “There are plans to declare few other places as sanctuaries. However, the proposal for the same hasn’t reached us,” said sources.
According to Deepak Apte of BNHS, “as a mitigation measure, two areas in Navi Mumbai and one in Uran will be designated as sanctuaries.”
JICA refused to realign the link by shifting it 150 metres away as suggested in a report by BNHS to protect Sewri mudflats, since the realignment would cause a sharp curve on the link making it vulnerable to accidents on the link way.
Sources from MMRDA also said that they had approached Mumbai Port Trust for the realignment of the link. However, Port Trust declined saying that it would cause damage to their trust buildings.