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The bridge to nowhere

Not even a single pillar of the Rs 6,000-crore Mumbai Trans Harbour Sea Link, which was originally proposed in the early '70s, has been erected.

     Print Edition: June 27, 2010

Rome was not built in a day. Nobody has such expectations about the construction of the Mumbai Trans Harbour Sea Link—a 22-km bridge that proposes to connect Navi Mumbai to Central Mumbai, thereby reducing commute time to just 30 minutes from over two hours now. Having said that, 40 years is enough time to build a bridge.

Mumbaikars would disagree. After all, not even a single pillar of the Rs 6,000-crore sea link, which was originally proposed in the early '70s, has been erected. In fact, in 1981, J.R.D. Tata chaired a committee which pushed for the commissioning of the project. Later in 2005, then Finance Minister P. Chidambaram in his Budget speech made a mention about the project.

A few months later, request for quotations went out and the Ambanis and half a dozen consortia evinced interest. Anil Ambani's bid was disqualified and he went to court. Matters dragged on till 2008, when both the Ambani brothers' bids were scrapped. Then the recession hit, and all bidders backed off. Last heard, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority plans to take over the project.

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