Mumbai-Navi Mumbai Drive: 15-Minute Dash via Trans Harbour Link

Mumbai-Navi Mumbai Drive: 15-Minute Dash via Trans Harbour Link

Mumbai, the financial capital of India, sits on the west coast of India. Only it doesn’t. Originally a group of seven islands merged over the years into one single entity, it is situated approximately 10km  western seaboard of India. This is why connectivity with the mainland of India has always been something of a long trudge. To go north is easy, the mainland isn’t far. But to go east or south, you first had to travel 40km north to Thane, take a U-turn, then backtrack another 20km before starting your journey, and this took hours. Then in 1973, the authorities in Mumbai built a bridge across the Vashi creek, making the drive around considerably shorter. You still needed to backtrack 20 odd kilometres, but it did save a big chunk of time.

The bustling metropolis of Mumbai, known for its vibrant energy and diverse culture, is set to witness a game-changing addition to its infrastructure - the Trans Harbour Link.

Mumbai Trans Harbour Link: saving time

This then, fifty years on, is the next step; a bridge that connects the heart of Mumbai to the west coast of India. No need to drive 20km, take a U-turn, backtrack. With the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) or Atal Bihari Vajpayee Smruti Sewri-Nhava Sheva Atal Setu, you can cross directly onto the mainland. To drive onto the MMRDA-built Atal Setu, all you have to do is hook right on Mumbai’s Eastern Freeway and drive straight on. We first pass through a spaghetti bowl of eight on and off ramps that look straight out of a sci-fi movie. As the bridge stretches out ahead, I’m happy I have something fast, fun and appropriately forward-looking today; Audi’s RS e-tron GT . This electric supercar puts down 646hp on the road and does 0-100kph in just 3.3 seconds. And as I zoom onto the bridge – the RS pushing me back in the seat – I can’t help but marvel at the scale and size of it.

Mumbai Trans Harbour Link: the drive

The road up ahead is totally empty and I can’t resist a long, hard pull. As I mash the accelerator down, the Audi bolts forward, and what makes things even more exciting is that the bridge now curves right. The shortest and quickest way of course would have been to go straight, but the Atal Setu has to meander its way around a myriad of hurdles.

Mumbai Trans Harbour Link: environment-friendly

This bridge has also been designed keeping the environment in mind; specifically the intertidal mudflats. Ecologically sensitive, these mudflats support a lot of biodiversity such as flamingos and other water birds, so plans for a sea link-like cable-stay bridge were scrapped — the fanning cables would have interfered with the flight path of the flamingos. In addition, to protect the biodiversity that lives on the mudflats, no permanent embankments were allowed to be built, and this made erecting the massive pillars and spans of the bridge extremely expensive and difficult, forcing them to do it from temporary bridges and floating barges.

?Key Points

  1. Historical Context: Mumbai, being the financial capital of India, has witnessed rapid urbanization and population growth over the years.
  2. Engineering Marvel: The Trans Harbour Link is a testament to modern engineering prowess. Spanning across the Arabian Sea, the link connects Sewri in South Mumbai to Nhava Sheva in Navi Mumbai.
  3. Reducing Commute Time: One of the most anticipated benefits of the Trans Harbour Link is the significant reduction in commute time. The drive from Mumbai to Navi Mumbai, which used to be a time-consuming and often frustrating experience, is now expected to be a swift 15-minute journey.
  4. Environmental Considerations: While the Trans Harbour Link promises numerous advantages, environmental considerations have also been taken into account.
  5. Challenges and Solutions: No major infrastructure project comes without its set of challenges. The Trans Harbour Link, too, faced obstacles during its planning and execution.
  6. Community Engagement: The success of the Trans Harbour Link is not solely measured in terms of concrete and steel. As commuters embark on this 15-minute dash, they are not only saving time but also witnessing the transformation of their daily lives.

That will be from Orange Gate on the Eastern Freeway down to Marine Drive." There’s little doubt that the MTHL is going to change Mumbai forever. Like the name too; it was PM Vajpayee after all who dragged India into the modern era when it came to roads, and built the Golden Quadrilateral and many others, a fair number of them under budget.