Metro or no metro, the government has planned a dedicated bus lane on the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) connecting Sewri with Nhava Sheva. While the dedicated lane will be on the side of this 22-km sea bridge, the Metro rail, if feasible, will be on the median. The Metro line is to connect the proposed airport in Navi Mumbai to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International airport.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is working out a plan to set up one bus lane on each side of six lanes on the MTHL. This would mean that ideally no other vehicle will be allowed to ply on them. However, dedicated bus lanes haven’t been that successful in the past in Mumbai.
Sources said the planning authority is aiming to run buses every four to five minutes on this corridor. “We will surely have a dedicated bus lane on MTHL. We will work it out with BEST and other transport bodies on its schedule,” said a senior MMRDA official.
Senior MMRDA officials said they are also carrying out technical feasible studies on whether MTHL can take the load of Metro rail. If built, it will cut short the proposed Metro-8 line connecting the two airports that takes a longer route. “It will also cut down the cost,” the official added.
The sea corridor will also have noise barriers on a six-km stretch, in a bid to prevent the view of the sensitive BARC nuclear complex and to protect the movement of flamingos and other migratory birds at Sewri mudflats. The entire project cost is pegged at Rs 17,843 crore, with 2023 as the deadline.