Mumbai: Versova Bandra Sealink work affected amid COVID-19

The under construction Versova Bandra Sealink work has been greatly affected and one of the reasons is Covid-19 pandemic induced lockdown. A senior official from the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) who did not wish to be named said, the work is almost stalled. "Due to manpower shortage and other reasons the work is ongoing at a snails speed. Only soil testing and piling work is going on." The work contract is for five years of which two years already passed, asserted the official.

The project work faced a lot of challenges. Initially, for the want of casting yard the project work progress was impacted. However, the official added, "Though casting yard issue was there but the yard is useful to cast viaducts. Therefore at least work of construction of pillars in water should have been done so far but nothing could be seen."

The FPJ had reported how the project delayed by six months more when first nationwide lockdown was imposed. Similarly, again in this second wave the project work once again has been hindered.

The consortium of Reliance Infrastructure-Astaldi is building the 17-kilometre-long sealink having four connectors at an estimated cost of Rs 7,000 crore. Three times that of the existing Bandra Worli Sealink. Reportedly, the project was embroiled in controversy over lack of casting yard. It was only in July 2020, that the MSRDC was able to allot an alternate land parcel at Malad to the appointed contractor for the casting yard purpose, which was earlier proposed at Juhu beach but due to environmental concern, the proposed land was cancelled.

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