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PM Inaugurates India's Longest Sea Bridge Atal Setu: How it Will Help Mumbaikars

The Mumbai Trans Harbour Link was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 12 January.

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Video Producer: Divya Uppal

Video Editors: Puneet Bhatia, Kriti Saxena

Senior Editor: Mythreyee Ramesh

The Atal Setu or Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) – deemed to be India's longest sea bridge – was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, 12 January.

According to officials, the bridge will cater to around 70,000 vehicles daily, connecting Sewri in Mumbai to Chirle in Navi Mumbai.

What exactly is the MTHL about? How much benefit does it add to the infrastructure and traffic management of Mumbai and its surrounding areas? Let's find out.

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What Is the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link? 

The Mumbai Trans Harbour Link is a bridge 21.8 km in length that will connect Mumbai and Navi Mumbai. The MTHL is the longest sea bridge in the country and the 12th longest in the world.

The bridge comprises a 16.5-km sea link and a 5.5-km land link. The sea link is a six-lane highway (three on either side).

While the bridge was supposed to be inaugurated and made open to the public on 25 December last year, several last-minute preparations—including electrification, the construction of poles and toll booths—pushed the its opening to January.

The idea to construct the MTHL dates back to the early 1960s, when it was proposed to be built between Mumbai and Uran in Navi Mumbai. However, the construction plans could not come to fruition due to several setbacks.

In 2017, the Maharashtra government tasked the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) with the construction of the bridge. The project was then taken forward with the support of an official development loan of around Rs 18,000 crore from the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

According to the MMRDA, the estimated cost of the bridge is around Rs 17,843 crore.

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Which Areas Will Be Connected By the Sea Bridge? 

Starting in South Mumbai's Sewri, the bridge will pass through Thane Creek and end at Chirle village near Nhava Sheva.

The bridge will connect several key areas, such as the under-construction Navi Mumbai International Airport, Mumbai-Pune Expressway, and Mumbai-Goa Highway.

The bridge will also have interchanges at Sewri, Shivaji-Nagar, Chirle, and other key spots to ensure efficient connectivity and the smooth flow of traffic.

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Why Is MTHL a 'Game-Changer'?

The MTHL primarily offers two important benefits: a significant reduction in the commute between Mumbai and Pune on the one hand, and between Mumbai and the under-construction Navi Mumbai Airport on the other.

The sea bridge is predicted to slash the travel time between Mumbai and Navi Mumbai from the current two hours to around 20–30 minutes. This gains immense significance considering the current level of congestion on different forms of public transport in Mumbai and its surrounding areas.

The project is also predicted to ease traffic on entry points into Mumbai, which will have a beneficial domino effect all across the region.

Further, with the new airport in Navi Mumbai close to being completed, the bridge will ensure efficient connectivity from the mainland, particularly during peak hours. The MTHL will make reaching Panvel far easier from central and south Mumbai as well.

Further, it has been estimated that the use of the bridge will lead to savings of one crore litres of fuel per year and cut back CO2 emissions by over 25,000 million tons.

Cost of Travelling

The toll for a one-way journey has been fixed at Rs 250 per car. The return toll will be one-and-a-half times of the toll amounting to Rs 370.

Availing a daily pass for a car will cost Rs 625, and a monthly pass will be worth Rs 12,500.

This also makes it the most expensive toll road linked to Mumbai. In comparison, the Bandra-Worli Sea Link has a toll of Rs 85 for a one-way trip and Rs 127 for a return journey.

(With inputs from The Times of India and Business Standard.)

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Topics:  Mumbai   bridge   Explainer 

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