Bandra-Versova Sea Link Construction To Start Soon
The construction of the Bandra-Versova Sea Link will begin soon as the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation has appointed Reliance Infrastructure for building this 17.17-km corridor. The sea link, which will be thrice the length of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link, will be constructed at a cost of Rs 7,000 crore. The link would be a toll-route and would be completed and operational in the next five years.
Earlier, in a bid to fast track the long-awaited infrastructure project, the state government had provided viability gap funding of Rs 2,500 crore, that is collected as a premium for extra floor space index, sold to real estate developers.
The corridor would serve as an extension to the existing Bandra-Worli Sea Link. Once operational, the commuters travelling to south of Mumbai from the western suburbs can skip the Western Express Highway and can use sea links for the commute which would have connectors at Bandra, Otters Club, the Juhu Link Road and the Versova Link Road.
Route to reduce congestion
Currently, one has to take the Western Express Highway to reach south Mumbai from the western suburbs and have to pass through congested areas such as Borivali, Andheri, Juhu, Mahim, etc. The journey usually takes 60-90 minutes during peak office hours. With the new road, the travel time would be reduced to 12 minutes. The connectivity is expected to improve further by a series of roads and tunnels.
Also, to ensure fewer jams at the points where vehicles enter and exit this new sea link, the MSRDC has proposed three connectors. The first such connector will run between Bandstand road in Bandra and VBSL, the other two connectors will link the Western Express Highway (WEH). One would take off from Juhu-Koliwada area and connect the WEH via the Milan flyover. The other would connect Nana Nani Park in Versova with WEH, near the Bisleri factory in Andheri (East) via CD Barfiwala Road.
The sea link was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure (CCI) in 2009. The original cost of the project was Rs 5,975 crore which has now been escalated to Rs 7,000 crore. The state government took four years to get the clearance from the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) and Environment Ministry, which was finally spelled out in January 2013. CM Fadnavis in April 2016 directed the MSRDC to construct it on an engineering, procurement and construction basis.
Impact on Mumbai's property market
The new corridor could be a game changer for the Mumbai real estate market as it would improve connectivity between the suburbs and the main commercial business district. With travelling time coming down to 12 minutes from 60 minutes with a projected toll tax of Rs 60, mid-segment buyers would make way to housing hubs near Versova such as Kandivali, Borivali and Mira Road. Though the property prices here have crossed Rs 9,000 per square foot (sqft), the growing connectivity would further push the property prices upwards.
With enhanced connectivity from the farther suburb, the crowded areas of Andheri, Chembur, Ville Parle are expected to be decongested and the excessive pressure on the express highways would be relieved.