The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) is seeking consultancy service to implement proposed Versova--Virar Sealink project. The appointed consultant/joint venture will be responsible to prepare a detailed project report (DPR) and undertake Pre-tender activities. Interested agencies can submit bids and the last date of submissions is April 5, 2021. The pre-bid meeting has been arranged on March 19 to answer queries of bidder keen to participate in the said work.
The estimated sealink project cost is amounting to Rs 32,865 crore. The Free Press Journal had reported about the pre- feasibility report of TATA consultants, submitted to the state cabinet infrastructure committee seeking approval for the project.
Interestingly, the MSRDC plans to carry out the proposed sealink project in phasewise manner. In Phase 1, the sealink will be taken from Versova--Vasai and in Phase 2 it will be connected further till Virar. The division of the said project will help in completing it with limited resources and in the set time limit the pre-feasibility report suggests. Since the alignment towards Virar passes from ancient Arnala fort and permission from heritage committee is required which may lengthen the project timeline. Moreover, the fisherfolk from Virar may oppose the sealink project, MSRDC officials believe.
Reportedly, in the pre-feasibility report three routes were suggested to carry out the Versova--Virar sealink. Of which the 83.71km alignment was preferred for the Versova Virar sea link as this recommended route mainly part passes through the sea and the damage on the mangrove (5.04 hectares) is less as compared to the other two alignments.
Moreover, the impact on people would be marginal if the first route is adopted the report mentioned.