Mumbai bridge raises hopes for new Indian infrastructure

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by Sridhar, Jun 29, 2009.

  1. Sridhar

    Sridhar House keeper Moderator

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    Mumbai bridge raises hopes for new Indian infrastructure
    29 Jun 2009, 1038 hrs IST, AGENCIES

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    MUMBAI: After years of delays and legal wrangling, India's first "sea bridge" opens to traffic this week, aiming to ease chronic congestion on
    Mumbai's notoriously choked roads.

    It is hoped that the 16.5-billion-rupee (340-million-dollar) eight-lane freeway will help cut the 40-minute journey between the suburbs of Bandra and Worli to just eight minutes.

    But as the bridge opens on Tuesday, to ease the bottleneck of honking cars, lorries and motorbikes on the mainland, there are hopes, too, that as well as showing off India's engineering prowess, it can inspire other projects elsewhere.


    Mumbai bridge raises hopes for new Indian infrastructure- Infrastructure-Economy-News-The Economic Times

    "Undoubtedly the Bandra-Worli Sea Link is an engineering marvel which shows that Indian construction players have come of age, and are capable of matching global counterparts," said Hitesh Agrawal, head of research with Angel Broking.

    "However, the government needs to look into critical issues to ensure infrastructure projects are not delayed," he told AFP.

    India's infrastructure is in desperate need of an overhaul but road, rail, airport and power schemes have often been delayed by tortuous state bureaucracy, a lack of private sector funding and land ownership disputes.

    The sweeping, 5.6-kilometre (3.5-mile) Bandra-Worli Sea Link was first commissioned in 2000 but work was held up until 2004 because of litigation and protests from the local fishing community.

    Like many of India's cities, upgrading Mumbai's road system is a must.

    Currently, about 125,000 vehicles criss-cross Mumbai north to south in each direction every day, according to the bridge's builders, the Hindustan Construction Company Limited.

    As private car ownership increases on the back of India's economic boom and more people move to cities, 250 more vehicles are expected to drive the route every day, it added.

    The city's suburban rail network is also under pressure from a population of 18 million that is growing by the year.

    Further phases of the bridge are planned, eventually stretching to the commercial business district in the city's southern tip.

    Construction of the first phase of a much-needed suburban metro system is also under way.

    India's economy grew by 6.7 percent in 2008-09, down from nine percent a year earlier, hit by the effects of the global economic downturn. GDP could be between 6.0 percent and 6.3 percent in 2010, according to analysts.

    Policy makers have identified infrastructure projects as key to helping the economy bounce back to the near double-digit growth of recent years.

    PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) estimates that more than 500 billion dollars' worth of investment will flow towards India's infrastructure sector by 2012, to upgrade or build more roads, ports, railway lines and airports.

    "Funding this is likely to go beyond the means of total government spending," Ravi Bhamidipathi, PwC's head of engineering and construction in India, said in a recent report.

    PwC identified public-private partnerships (PPPs) involving domestic and foreign investors as one possible way of funding the shortfall.

    Unlike in China, where new infrastructure projects have taken off in recent years, the pace of change in India has been slow.

    In the past four years cash has been awarded for 11,502 kilometres of new roads. But only 4,575 kilometres have been completed in the past two years, according to the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI).

    As of March, nearly 16,000 kilometres of new road projects were waiting for funding. More than 200 national road projects -- equivalent to 13,000 kilometres -- are out to tender.

    Elsewhere, about 10 billion dollars' worth of investment in new or existing airports has been proposed to cater for an increase in air traffic and rising tourism.

    India's new road transport and highways minister Kamal Nath is aware of the problem and wants to speed up funding awards.

    "The greater the outlay on construction of roads, the greater the impetus to the economy," he has said.

    But analysts say funding is not the only hurdle that needs to be overcome. "The government needs to give attention to issues like land acquisition issues, a major reason for delay in many projects," said Angel Broking's Agrawal.

    Despite the problems, analysts remain optimistic that the infrastructure projects will get off the ground.

    "The opportunities to develop a significant business in India are extremely promising for construction firms if they have carefully selected local partners and structured contracts sensibly to maximise tax benefits," PwC's Bhamidipathi said.
     
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  3. ZOOM

    ZOOM Founding Member

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    Yes, somehow Bandra-Worli Sea link has been completed after so much of hassles and cost overruns and not to forget about unending delays. But it has been observed that, this bridge has already been considered as a obsolate, since it has overruns its planned deadline and objective for which it has intended for cannot be realize. Because Traffic issue has been compunding very rapidly in Metro city like Mumbai, in by diverting some traffic to this bridge will not be of much help.

    Construction of one more mega bridge is going on in mumbai since 2004, and its deadline was December 2008. But still, because of land acquisition issues, Funding crunch(Although it is funded by World Bank) has created several obstacles in it. Even it will not be able to fulfill its key objective of diverting traffic through it becuase of multiplication in traffic condition in Mumbai. Because of which, Engineers are also required to construct one more part of this bridge to realize its actual objective atleast partially. This flyover bridge is considered as a firstever double decker bridge in entire India. Most importantly, it is only 100 meters away from my residence.
     
  4. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Sonia Gandhi to open Mumbai's Bandra-Worli Sea Link tomorrow

    Sonia Gandhi to open Mumbai's Bandra-Worli Sea Link tomorrow

    29 June 2009
    After a long wait of about 10 years, Mumbai's iconic Bandra-Worli Sea Link (BWSL), connecting the western suburb with south Mumbai will be opened by Congress president Sonia Gandhi tomorrow. The inauguration will be held at the northern end of the sea bridge.

    According to authorities, the sea link will enable speedy travel between Bandra and Worli, cutting travel times from abut 70 minutes to 7 minutes.

    Currently, a daily traffic volume of over 1.4 million vehicles causes massive traffic snarls, especially during the morning-evening peak hours in this segment.

    The project starts from the interchange at Mahim (intersection of Western Express Highway and Swami Vivekanand road at Bandra) and connects with Khan Abdul Gaffarkhan Road at Worli.

    At present, Mahim causeway is the only link connecting western suburbs to island city of Mumbai. The existing north south western corridor is highly congested and during the peak hours results in a bottleneck at Mahim Causeway.

    The access to the 5.6-km cable-supported sea bridge will be controlled on the Worli end by toll plazas on the Khan Abdul Gaffarkhan Road, and on the Bandra end by toll plazas at Love Grove Junction.
     
  5. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Who the F&%$ she is to open such an important national project. Under what capacity she is eligible to open such infrastructure projects dedicated to the nation??. Ideally, it should be opened either by President, PM or CM of the state not the president of congress party. This is what I don't like about boot-licking, sycophantic congress party. And, why national news papers doesn't point out such issues. Have they resigned to the fact that she is the de facto PM running the country.
     
  6. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    Bandra-Worli sea link project conceived in 1990s- Infrastructure-Economy-News-The Economic Times

    Bandra-Worli sea link project conceived in 1990s
    29 Jun 2009, 1345 hrs IST, PTI

    The Bandra-Worli sea link project was conceived in the 1990s. But, plagued by a series of Public Interest Litigations (PILs) from fishermen and
    environmentalists, the work on the project could not take off till October 2004. One NGO even took it to the Supreme Court, which, dismissed the plea.

    Agitations, however, forced MSRDC to make drastic changes, to the tune of 80 per cent, in the design of the bridge which, in turn, escalated the cost of the project by around Rs 350 crore from the initial planned outlay of Rs 1,306 crore to Rs 1,650 crore.

    Authorities aim to make the bridge as another destination in the "Mumbai Darshan" package.

    Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport, which provides public transport and power in the city, has proposed a ferry trip between Bandra Kurla Complex, a city business hub, and the Worli Sea Face. The eight-lane bridge will have two lanes dedicated for buses.
     
  7. 1.44

    1.44 Member of The Month SEPTEMBER 2009 Senior Member

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    Sonia Gandhi to inaugurate Bandra Worli sea link today

    Tue, Jun 30 11:05 AM
    Mumbai, June 30 (ANI): Congress president Sonia Gandhi will inaugurate the much-awaited Bandra Worli sea link here today.
    The 5.6 kilometers long cable-stayed bridge has been designed to allow for speedy road travel between Bandra and Worli in the busy and traffic-ridden city of Mumbai.
    The link would be equipped with state-of-the-art systems for traffic monitoring, emergency support and an automated toll system.
    It is an ambitious eight-lane twin carriageway built over the Mahim Creek of Arabian Sea. The bridge rests on two towers, each 126 metres tall or equivalent to a 43-storeyed building.
    Spectacular fireworks enthralled the residents, a day before the opening of the link, which will facilitate rapid conveyance from Mumbai's west to south.
    "I just loved this event that is happening here. The fireworks were just amazing, I loved to watch it," said Neelam Mansi, a resident.
    People said that the new bridge would save a lot of commuting time.
    "The construction of the sea link would save people's time," said Leen Montri, another resident. (ANI)
     
  8. 1.44

    1.44 Member of The Month SEPTEMBER 2009 Senior Member

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  9. 1.44

    1.44 Member of The Month SEPTEMBER 2009 Senior Member

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  10. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    Sonia Gandhi opens India's first sea bridge- Infrastructure-Economy-News-The Economic Times

    Sonia Gandhi opens India's first sea bridge
    30 Jun 2009, 1824 hrs IST, IANS

    MUMBAI: Billed as an engineering marvel, India's first sea bridge was thrown open in this financial and entertainment capital Tuesday, promising to cut travel time by 80 percent, bypassing 23 traffic signals that commuters have to endure otherwise.

    United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi inaugurated the gleaming new $325 million bridge, called the Bandra-Worli Sea Link (BWSL), which was conceived over four decades ago. She became the first person to go up and down the BWSL in her motorcade.

    The bridge is to be named after former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan has announced. Sonia is Rajiv Gandhi's widow.

    This is the most prestigious project for the Maharashtra State Road Development Corp (MSRDC) in over a decade after the Mumbai-Pune Expressway and is expected to cut travel from 60 minutes to around six minutes from Bandra in northwest Mumbai to Worli in the south.

    The 5.6-km bridge on the Arabian Sea cost Rs.1,634-crore ($16.34 billion) and the authorities hope some 150,000 vehicles will use it each day for a toll that ranges between Rs.50 and Rs.100 per trip depending on the size of the automobile.

    From Wednesday, traffic will be permitted on the bridge. It will be toll-free

    for the first three days.

    Those present at the inauguration included Chief Minister Chavan, Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, central Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and Heavy Industries Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh. Maharashtra strongman and central Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar was present at one of the inaugural functions though not at the site.

    Mumbaikars, including a galaxy of actors, corporate honchos and the average commuter, are visibly excited by the sea link. Huge crowds thronged both ends of the BWSL - at Bandra and Worli.

    The bridge has surpassed all other projects of the state-run MSRDC in terms of its sheer beauty, grandeur and the attention it has grabbed from the whole country in the past few months.

    "Last night, I specially went on the terrace of our eight-storey building to watch the laser show and fireworks," Helen, well-known yesteryear actor and dancing star, told IANS.

    "I have read a lot about how it will solve the traffic problems in Mumbai. I plan to go for a drive there soon," added her husband and legendary scriptwriter Salim Khan, whose apartment facing the Arabian Sea is right opposite the sea link.

    In fact, several Bollywood personalities - Shah Rukh Khan, Rekha, Subhash Ghai, Farhan Akhtar and others - live on the promenade facing the Bandra-Worli Sea Link and most get a balcony or terrace view of the magnificent bridge.

    Businessman Pratap S. Bohra, who lives in Juhu, said he had long abandoned his office in Nariman Point on account of the time wasted in the traffic.

    "We kept hearing about the sea link. Now that it is ready, I am seriously planning to attend my office in south Mumbai. We hope the second phase from Worli to Nariman Point will be taken up soon," said Bohra, who opened another office in Santa Cruz, a western suburb.

    Some, like jeweller V.S. Shrikrishna, are disappointed that two-wheelers shall not be permitted on the sea link. "To save time, I may go by car. But then again, I have to shell out a toll," he said, a tad confused about his commuting plans.

    A commuter by car, for instance, would have to pay Rs.50 for a single trip, Rs.75 for a round trip, Rs.125 for a daily multiple-entry-exit pass and Rs.2,500 for a similar pass for a month. The toll may be hiked in the future.

    For the past three nights, the state-run company had built up the tempo for the bridge's inauguration with spectacular multi-colour laser shows and fireworks that were visible from afar.

    The two cable bridges, one 500 metres long on the northern side and another 350 metres long on the southern side, allow the passage of fishing boats. The bridge rests on two towers, each 126 metres tall or as high as a 43-storey building, which appear hazily in the monsoon mist.

    The bridge - which was conceived in 1963 but contracted to the Hindustan Construction Corp only in 2000 - encompasses some of the most modern security systems, including electronic eyes on the top and underneath, the authorities said.

    They said the project involved some 3,000 professionals from 11 countries, including China, Egypt, Singapore, Thailand, and even Serbia and Switzerland. The bridge, that used 40,000 tonnes of steel and 90,000 tonnes of concrete, weighs 270,000 tonnes.
     
  11. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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  12. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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  13. 1.44

    1.44 Member of The Month SEPTEMBER 2009 Senior Member

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    Who says Mumbai can't be made into Shanghai???
     
  14. Arjak

    Arjak Respected Member

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    hell yeah..........we can do anything.damn it!!!!
     
  15. 1.44

    1.44 Member of The Month SEPTEMBER 2009 Senior Member

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    And India's marching on.....
     
  16. johnee

    johnee Elite Member Elite Member

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    Its an engineering marvel(as far as India is concerned) and perhaps first of its kind(in India).And hence its a good news. But the real question is: how useful is it in easing traffic probs of Mumbai? Is it worth the money(and time) invested in it?

    I heard that the cumulative time saved by using this road link would just be 10min(after considering the bottleups that will be caused at Worli) and the toll(for riding once on it) is Rs 50. If that is true, then it wouldnt be much of an attraction. 10min and Rs 50? Not attractive.
     
  17. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Why the Chest-beating??. We need to do the walking not the talking. Just building one sea-link will not make Mumbai like Shanghai. Let's hold onto our horses and build more such bridges without going ga ga over it.
     
  18. 1.44

    1.44 Member of The Month SEPTEMBER 2009 Senior Member

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    It's 5 years behind schedule and with cost overruns,seems these are a norm these days:(
     
  19. Arjak

    Arjak Respected Member

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    man,this project costs rs1650 crores,and mayavati wasted almost the same amount of money behind her ugly statues!!!!!!!
     
  20. Arjak

    Arjak Respected Member

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  21. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Johnee mere bhai, it will cut down the travel from the previous 60-90 min travel to current 7 min travel. And, it is estimated that 100 crores itself will be saved on vehicle usage every year. I think, it is worth the effort that is being put into this sea-link.
     

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