Mumbai: India’s longest sea bridge, Atal Setu, to charge Rs 250 toll for car commuters

Mumbai, Jan 8: The Maharashtra cabinet has approved the toll rates for the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL), also known as Atal Setu, which is India’s longest sea bridge connecting Sewri in Mumbai to Chirle in Navi Mumbai. The toll for car commuters will be Rs 250 for a single trip, which will be reviewed after a year.

The MTHL, which cost Rs 17,843 crore and spans 21.8 km, of which 16.11 km is over water, will reduce the travel distance from South Mumbai to Chirle by around 30 km and the travel time from hours to just 16 minutes. The project, which was first proposed in 1962, aims to boost the economic integration of Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, and surrounding regions like Pune, Goa, Panvel, and Alibaug.

The toll rates for other vehicles will vary according to their size and axle. The return toll will be one-and-a-half times of the toll amount, while daily and frequent travellers will get discounts. The toll rates will see a 6 percent annual increase, as per the cabinet note.

The MTHL, which is funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency, is expected to be inaugurated later this month. The project faced several delays due to environmental and financial issues, before the work began in April 2018.

The toll decision has sparked a controversy, as some political leaders have demanded a rollback or reduction of the toll, citing the high cost of living in Mumbai and the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Shiv Sena leader and state minister Aaditya Thackeray took a swipe at Gujarat, saying that the state had waived off tolls on its bridges, while Maharashtra was charging a high toll for its longest sea bridge.

Written by Zamir Azad

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