The Maharashtra government, on December 4, 2017, accorded administrative approval to the Versova-Bandra Sea Link (VBSL) project, eight years after the State Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure (SCCI) cleared it. In a government resolution (GR), the state has pegged the project cost to be around Rs 7,502 crores and its length is estimated to be about 17.17 kms.
The SCCI had cleared the project on August 18, 2009. However, it took another four years, for the government to get the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) and environment clearance from the centre, which were given in January 2013, an official said. In extending the area in length, the government has approved the design plan at a height of 900 metres from the coastline, states the GR.
The main four-by-four-lane bridge of the VBSL will be 9.60 kms. The cable-stayed bridge will be 0.30 kms long and the balance cantilever bridge will be 0.10 kms long. Besides this, the VBSL will have connectors at Bandra, Otters Club, Juhu Link Road and Versova Link Road. There will be toll plazas at Bandra, Carter Road, Juhu-Koliwada and at Nana-Nani Park, it added.
The existing prevailing toll rates shall apply to the VBSL and the concession period shall be up to 2052. In case there is any change in the toll tax policy in the future, the concession period will be revived as per the toll tax policy prevailing then, it stated.
The GR states that the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) shall appoint two separate contractors, for toll collection and repairs and maintenance of the VBSL. The government has also approved the MSRDC to set up a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to raise loans.