In a historic moment for India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Atal Setu, also known as the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL), on Friday. This bridge, named after the late former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, is not only the longest bridge in India but also the longest sea bridge in the country. With a construction cost of approximately ₹17,840 crore, the Atal Setu is a testament to India's commitment to infrastructure development.
The Importance of Atal Setu
The Atal Setu holds great significance for the people of Mumbai and Maharashtra. It is expected to transform the transportation landscape and contribute to the economic growth of the region. Equipped with cutting-edge Japanese technology, the 21.8 km long bridge will drastically reduce travel time between Mumbai and Navi Mumbai. What used to be a two-hour journey will now be a mere 20-minute ride, saving both time and fuel.
Construction and Features
The construction of the Atal Setu was completed six months ahead of schedule, showcasing the efficiency and dedication of the project team. The bridge consists of a 16.5 km stretch over the sea and a 5.5 km stretch on land. It is a six-lane bridge designed to withstand various weather conditions and ensure the safety of commuters.
Impact on Connectivity
The Atal Setu will not only benefit commuters traveling between Mumbai and Navi Mumbai but will also improve connectivity to other parts of the country. With reduced travel time, the bridge will enhance trade and commerce, boost tourism, and facilitate the movement of goods and services. Additionally, it is expected to ease congestion on existing routes and provide a smoother and more efficient transportation experience.
To ensure the safety and smooth flow of traffic on the Atal Setu, certain regulations have been put in place. Motorcycles, mopeds, three-wheeler tempos, auto-rickshaws, tractors, tractors with unladen trolleys, animal-drawn vehicles, and slow-moving vehicles are not allowed on the bridge. These restrictions aim to maintain a steady flow of traffic and prevent any potential accidents or disruptions.
Inauguration and Other Projects
During his visit to Maharashtra, Prime Minister Modi also inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of multiple projects worth over ₹30,500 crore. These projects include the Namo Mahila Shashaktikaran Abhiyaan, which provides skill development training to women in Maharashtra, and a facilitation center for the gems and jewelry sector at Santacruz Electronic Export Processing Zone in Mumbai. Furthermore, he laid the foundation stone for an underground road tunnel connecting Eastern Freeway's Orange Gate to Marine Drive in Mumbai.
Prime Minister's Address to the Youth
While inaugurating the 27th National Youth Festival, Prime Minister Modi addressed the gathering and emphasized the importance of youth participation in the electoral process. He urged the youth to actively engage in politics to "reduce" the influence of dynastic politics. By casting their votes and expressing their political views, the youth can shape the future of the country and ensure a better democratic system.
The inauguration of the Atal Setu marks a significant milestone in India's infrastructure development. The bridge's completion ahead of schedule and its impact on connectivity highlight the country's commitment to progress. As the longest sea bridge in India, the Atal Setu will not only enhance transportation but also contribute to economic growth and development. The bridge stands as a symbol of India's potential and determination to build a better future for its citizens.