Mumbai: The pre-feasibility report recommends that the Versova sea link extension should be taken up to Vasai in the first phase, while in the phase 2, part of it should be constructed up to Virar.
The division of the project will help in completing the it with limited resources and that too within the set time, the Tata consultants advice. Moreover, it believes that phase 2 can be implemented after phase 1 gets stabilised.
Besides, the benefits of a sea link up to Vasai will further help in convincing people of Virar and adjoining areas over the need of taking up the sea link to Virar. Sources from the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) responsible to undertake this project said,
"The suggestion has come as it is believed that fisherfolk from Virar may oppose the sea link project fearing loss of livelihood.
Moreover, since the alignment towards Virar passes from the ancient Arnala fort it will have to obtain permission from the heritage conservation authority which may further lengthen the project.
Hence, to avoid the impediment the project has been advised to be undertaken in a phase-wise manner."The report has estimated Rs 25,285 crore for the construction of Sea link from Versova to Virar and more Rs 9,950 crore for alignment up till Virar.
The total Versova Virar sea link alignment length is of 83.71 kilometers. In the pre-feasibility report, three options were recommended for the alignment of the sea link, first alignment length is of 83.71 km, second of 78.06 km inside sea and 6km in the coast, and the third alignment suggested comprises 51.80 km sea route and 29.27km in the coast.
However, the first design of alignment which comprises of 83.71km was preferred for the Versova Virar sea link as this recommended route major 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.