Even as the Maharashtra unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday claimed that the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) will be inaugurated and thrown open to the public on December 25, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), which is implementing the project, maintained that as yet no date has been fixed and the project may not be opened till the very end of the year. The bridge, which is an engineering marvel, is named after late Prime Minister and BJP leader Atal Behari Vajpayee, whose birth anniversary falls on December 25.
A top MMRDA officer told the FPJ on Tuesday that in all probability the bridge, which is India’s longest sea bridge, will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “So far we have not received any confirmation as to when the PM will be available for the inauguration. Till that is fixed we cannot say when it will be opened. Also, a high-level guest from Japan is expected to attend the programme. There is also no clarity on who from Japan will be doing so”.
According to MMRDA, this engineering marvel has been built using state-of-the-art Japanese Technology and has been majorly funded by the Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA). JICA has committed to funding 85 per cent of the Total Project cost of about ₹18,000 crore.
The officer also added that though the project is 96 per cent complete, there is work pending including electrification, wiring, toll plaza, etc. This will take some time. The MTHL is a six-lane 21.8 km road bridge between Sewri (Mumbai) and Chirle (Navi Mumbai). The project will link South Mumbai with Navi Mumbai township and will cater to 70,000 vehicles on a daily basis.