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Bandra-Versova sealink to cost Rs 2000 crore more

| MEHUL R. THAKKAR
Published : Jun 19, 2016, 7:27 am IST
Updated : Jun 19, 2016, 7:27 am IST

With the construction cost of the proposed 9-km-long Bandra-Versova sealink (BVSL) increasing to Rs 7,500 crore from Rs 5,500 crore, motorists will have to pay toll for plying on the proposed sealink

With the construction cost of the proposed 9-km-long Bandra-Versova sealink (BVSL) increasing to Rs 7,500 crore from Rs 5,500 crore, motorists will have to pay toll for plying on the proposed sealink along the lines of Bandra-Worli sealink.

Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had in a meeting with the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) on March 30, 2016 said that the implementing agency for the project had given a nod to go ahead with sealink between Bandra and Versova due to protests by environmentalists for the coastal road between the two.

“After the chief minister approved it, we had started to update the financial calculations for the project. After several calculations we have reached the conclusion that the estimated traffic on the BVSL will be around 45,000 vehicles per day and the revised project cost would be around Rs 7,500 crore for which we motorists will be charged toll for plying on the sealink,” said an MSRDC bureaucrat.

The 35-km-long coastal road connecting south Mumbai with the western suburbs proposed by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has faced strong opposition from Juhu residents. The protest was over a proposed tunnel road beneath the beach, which they claim, would destroy its beauty. In addition, it had also faced stiff opposition as the alignment of the coastal road between Bandra and Versova was to run through mangroves and koliwadas, which resulted in fishermen opposing the project and after which the state government is mulling a sea link Bandra and Versova.

The MSRDC, after obtaining coastal regulation zone clearances, had initiated the bidding process for the BVSL also known as the northward arm of the landmark BWSL, in March 2014 on a ‘design, build, finance, operate and transfer’ model. The bidding, however, was scrapped over uncertainty related to the project’s funding.

“We are in talks with several international financial institutions for financing the project. But the state government has to make a move first on notifying the project,” added the MSRDC bureaucrat.