Everything you need to know about India’s longest sea bridge 'Atal Setu'

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On 12th January 2024, the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi launched India’s longest sea bridge 'Atal Setu', officially called the Atal Setu Nhava Sheva Sea Link. It is also known as the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL). The concept of this bridge was first conceptualized six decades ago, to cut the travel time between Sewri and Chirle. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about India’s longest sea bridge 'Atal Setu'.

Atal Setu: Timeline

  • The idea of a bay crossing connecting Mumbai to the mainland was first conceptualized in 1963 by the American construction consultancy firm Wilbur Smith Associates.

  • But, no follow-up action was initiated, at that time.

  • Later, in the late 90s, the plan was revived and the first tenders were floated in 2006.

  • In February 2008, Anil Ambani’s Reliance Infrastructure emerged as the preferred bidder.

  • They promised to build the sea-linking bridge and recover the cost of building the (then) Rs 6,000 crore bridge in nine years and 11 months through a public-private partnership (PPP) model.

  • However, the project remained incomplete as Ambani withdrew from the project.

  • Thereafter, the nodal agency was changed from the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) to the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).

Atal Setu: Key Highlights

  • The bridge is designed to accommodate around 70,000 vehicles daily.

  • Connect: Sewri in Mumbai to Chirle in Navi Mumbai

  • Length: 21.8 km

  • It will be the longest sea bridge in the country and the 12th longest in the world.

  • It comprises a 16.5-kilometre sea link and a 5.5-kilometre land link

  • The Sea Link is a six-lane highway.

  • The bridge was built at a cost of more than ₹17,840 crore, out of which ₹15,000 crore is by way of loans.

  • Loan from: Japan International Cooperation Agency

  • It allows motorists to travel at a maximum speed of 100 kmph, but heavy vehicles, motorcycles, autorickshaws, and tractors will not be allowed to use it.

  • An 8.5-km noise barrier has been installed from Sewri, as this portion of the bridge passes through a flamingo-protected area and Bhabha Atomic Research Centre.

  • It will also reduce the travel time from Mumbai to Pune, Goa, and South India.

  • The Maharashtra government has cleared a proposal to charge ₹250 as a one-way toll for cars on the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Sewri-Nhava Sheva Atal Setu.

Other Bridges in India:

  • Bhupen Hazarika Setu: It is located on River Brahmaputra in Assam.

  • Dibang River Bridge: It is located on River Dibang in Arunachal Pradesh.

  • Mahatma Gandhi Setu: It is located on the River Ganges in Bihar.

  • Bandra Worli sea link: It is located on Mahim Bay in Maharashtra.

  • Bogibeel Bridge: It is located on River Brahmaputra in Assam