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About Sea: Bandra-Worli Sea Link (BWSL)
The Bandra Worli Sea link is the first bridge in India constructed on the sea and developed completely by the Indian engineers. The 5.6 kilometer (3.5 mile) long bridge constructed in Arabian Sea joins the two suburbs of Mumbai, Bandra and Worli. Mumbai is the financial capital of India and a very busy city. While earlier it used to take 40 minutes of drive between the two suburbs, now after the completion of the bridge the distance is covered in mere 8 minutes. In the city where time is highly precious and more important than money, this reduction in journey time will go a long way in investing the time in fruitful activities and greatly improve the economy of the city and country as a whole. The Bandra-Worli sea link is also expected to reduce the highly congested traffic of the metropolitan city.
The Bandra-Worli sea link is the project of Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), the consultants for the project are M/s DAR Consultants and the projects is being executed by Hindustan Construction Company (HCC). The sea link was opened to the public on 30th June 2009, by Sonia Gandhi, the Chairman of United Progressive Alliance (UPA), ruling party of Indian democracy. The bridge has been named after the youngest prime minister of India late Rajeev Gandhi, as Rajeev Gandhi Sea Link.
The planning for the project started in the 1980s, while the project was work was supposed to start from 2000, but it could not be started due to legal complications and protests from the fishing communities residing along the coast line. The work finally started in the year 2004 and was supposed to be completed in 2008. Various delays in the project have lead to exorbitant increase in the project budget. The total cost of the project has been 16.5 billion Indian rupees or 340 million dollars.
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What’s Special about Bandra Worli Sea Link?
Here are some of the highlights of Bandra-Worli Sea link:
1) The Bandra-Worli sea link is the true engineering marvel developed on the Arabian Sea. The bridge has 8 lanes, with two dedicated for the buses. At present four lanes are operational, while the remaining ones are still under construction.
2) The total weight of the sea link is equivalent to 50,000 African elephants.
3) Steel cable has been used for supporting the various structures of bridge. Steel wire used in the bridge is equivalent to the total circumference of the earth. The unique design of the bridge has made it one of the landmarks of the city and also the country.
4) The height of the Bandra-Worli sea link is 63 times the height of Qutub Minar, one of the tallest ancient structures located in New Delhi, India.
5) In all 90,000 tons of cement has been used for the construction of the bridge, which could easily construct five buildings of 10 storeys each.
6) Extensive lighting has been done along the sea link. The Rs. 90 million project of illuminating the whole bridge has been implemented by Bajaj Electricals. The total power consumption of the sea link is 1000KW or 1MW per day. The power required for the illumination is being provided by Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) and Reliance Power.
7) The sea link has ultra modern automatic systems for monitoring the traffic, surveillance, communications, instrumentation, emergency support etc.
8) The bridge also has its own in-house diesel generator to meet to critical emergency power requirements for monitoring and surveillance and communication equipments.
9) The toll plaza with 16 lanes and automatic toll collection system has been installed.
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Benefits of Bandra-Worli Sea Link
1) It is estimated that the sea link will help saving Rs. 10 million annually due to congestion in traffic and length of the previous route and shorter new route.
2) While earlier it used to take 40 minutes for drive between Bandra and Worli, now the distance can be covered in mere 8 minutes resulting in large savings in time.
3) The sea link has resulted in much easier driving with reduction in mental stress and improvement in the quality of life.
4) There would be reduction in accidents due to shorter distance and wider roads.
5) Extensive landscaping along the approaches and promenade enhances the surrounding environment.
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