IN A bid to explore the scope of constructing a sealink connecting Versova and Virar, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) has started the process of studying passenger traffic in the region.
While the MSRDC had floated a tender to appoint a consultant to prepare a pre-feasibility report, the first attempt failed to attract any response and the agency has now invited bids again.
Sources in the MSRDC said they will study if it is feasible to extend the proposed Versova sealink till Virar— further north along the coast.
“We will appoint a consultant who can give us traffic data and the total estimated toll collection, from which we will be able to predict whether such a project will be financially viable to build and operate,” a senior official in the MSRDC said. The first call for bids did not yield any response because only a few companies have experience of more than 10 years in constructing or operating sea links, he added.
The Versova-Virar sealink would be an extension of the Bandra-Versova sealink for which the pre-construction work started in October.
An MSRDC official said: “We have started the process of preparing a feasibility study to understand the financial and technical viability of the project. The feasibility report will be prepared by a third party consultant on our behalf.”
According to tender documents, once appointed, the consultant will make use of the already developed mathematical transportation models and estimate passenger traffic through different modes, also predicting the same until 2050 and beyond. “The consultant shall conduct a traffic volume survey for at least three days and also an origin-destination survey to estimate the need and capacity of the bridge,” says the bid document.
According to the MSRDC, the proposed entry and exit points for the planned extension of the sealink from Versova to Virar would be in Malad, Kandivali, Gorai, Bhayander, Vasai and Virar. The total length and cost of the extension has not been assessed yet.
A senior official said the average cost of construction per 10 km is about Rs 6,000 crore. The extension till Virar will involve building a 50 km bridge on the sea.