April 14, 2023
Diving around 10-15 metres under the creek waters, the divers weren’t in search of multi-tentacle sea animals but pipelines supplying oil and gas to Mumbai.
Mumbai, India - March 11, 2023: A view of the ongoing work of Sewri-Nhava Sheva Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link (MTHL) Road project, at Sewri, in Mumbai, India, on Saturday, March 11, 2023. (Photo by Bhushan Koyande/HT Photo) (HT PHOTO)
Mumbai: In one of the passages in the classic science fiction adventure novel ‘Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas’, French writer Jules Verne talks about divers in search of giant squids. Almost a century and a half since it was written at least half a dozen divers – and this time for real – between 2016-18 jumped into various channels of the Thane creek surrounded by mudflats, as a precursor to the construction of Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) -- India’s longest sea bridge.
Diving around 10-15 metres under the creek waters, the divers weren’t in search of multi-tentacle sea animals but pipelines supplying oil and gas to Mumbai. The outcome of this two-year-long exercise helped identify the impediments under water and ensure that the piers holding up the sea bridge are sturdy enough to sustain for over 100 years.
With nearly 1100 pillars erected, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) and their contractors from L&T and Tata Projects are in the last phase of constructing the ₹18,000-crore sea bridge by September, this year. By December, five years after work started, Mumbaikars will finally be able to cruise on this six-lane bridge connecting south Mumbai via Sewri with Nhava Sheva and the proposed Navi Mumbai Airport. Clearly, it was time to look beyond the sea to ease travel in a saturated Mumbai.
The state government expects at least 70,000 vehicles to use the sea bridge daily. It hopes that the bridge will help achieve $0.25 trillion economy for Mumbai Metropolitian Region (MMR). The MTHL is expected to invite commercial hubs and speed up economic activities on its far end.
As S V R Srinivas, Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA, said: “This is an engine for Mumbai and its metropolitan region’s economic growth. This six-lane access-controlled sea bridge is not just an engineering marvel but also an important connector between South Mumbai and Chirle, in Navi Mumbai – it will be the new gateway to the mainland. After this is completed, Mumbai will no longer be considered an island city.”
Rahul Shah – President and Chief Operating Officer - Buildings and Infrastructure, Tata Projects Limited said, “We are thrilled to announce that we have successfully developed a ground breaking solution to address the logistical challenges of supplying concrete onto the marine for the MTHL project. By constructing a cement batching plant in the middle of the sea, we were able to not only maintain the quality of the concrete, but also eliminate the need for ferrying it from the land, which used to take up to 8-9 hours of travel time. Thanks to this innovative approach, we can reach the site in just 15 minutes. This achievement showcases our commitment to finding creative and efficient solutions to complex engineering problems and we are excited to see the positive impact it has on the MTHL project."
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