Inauguration Ceremony for the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link in India: Supporting the sustainable economic growth of Mumbai, India’s number one economic city


On January 12, the inauguration ceremony for the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) was held in Mumbai, Maharashtra, Republic of India (hereinafter referred to as "India"), which was developed under the "Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link Project (I)-(III)" using an ODA loan.

Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link (Credit: Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Agency)

The ceremony was attended by tens of thousands of government and business officials, as well as local residents, with guests from the India side including Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Maharashtra Eknath Shinde, and other dignitaries, and from the Japanese side, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to India Suzuki Hiroshi and Chief Representative of JICA India Saito Mitsunori.

Inauguration ceremony

Mumbai, known as India's financial and commercial center, has a population of about 18 million and is located at the tip of the peninsula, which allows little room for urban development. To counter this geographical limitation, new development including the construction of a special economic zone and a new airport is taking place in the city of Navi Mumbai (meaning New Mumbai in the Marathi language) located on the opposite coast. However, before the introduction of the MTHL, it was necessary to go around the bay to travel between Mumbai and Navi Mumbai, and the lack of connectivity was an issue preventing the two cities from growing as one economic zone.

The MTHL is India's longest sea-crossing road, connecting the two cities with a six-lane road of about 22 kilometres, and reducing travel time across the strait from more than an hour to just under 20 minutes. Since its conception approximately 50 years ago in the 1970s, Mumbai’s dream project finally has been realized with Japan’s cooperation. In addition to improving the convenience of transportation for users, the MTHL is also expected to alleviate chronic traffic congestion in Mumbai, improve connectivity between the two sides, and thereby revitalize economic and social activities.

What is more, “orthotropic steel deck box girder” technology, which has been widely and successfully used in Japan, was adopted for the first time in India for the construction of this maritime road. This method makes it possible to extend the spacing between the pillars that lift the bridge girders further than conventional methods, as well as to reduce the number of supports needed. Additionally, since the bridge girders can be erected in a shorter amount of time, the overall time required for construction and the impact on the surrounding environment are also reduced.

At the ceremony, Prime Minister Modi shared his excitement regarding the opening of the MTHL, which will support the further economic growth of not only Mumbai but also the state of Maharashtra, and thanked the Government of Japan for its assistance in the completion of the road.

The MTHL is expected to contribute to the development of the Mumbai metropolitan area as a new symbol of India-Japan cooperation in the heart of India's growing economy.

In addition to the new marine road, JICA is also cooperating in the development of infrastructure such as the Mumbai Metro, and will continue to support the further development of the region.

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