The momentous Atal Setu, slated for inauguration by Prime Minister Modi in Mumbai today, stands as not just India’s lengthiest sea bridge but also one of the sturdiest, boasting earthquake-resistant technology, as revealed by an expert from IIT Bombay in a discussion with NDTV on Friday.
According to Professor Deepankar Choudhury, the Head of Civil Engineering at IIT Bombay, the 21-kilometer long bridge has been meticulously designed, taking into consideration its strategic location in Mumbai, falling under a moderate earthquake damage risk zone. He emphasized the significance of considering seismic activity’s impact on the soil beneath the majority of the bridge, which spans over the sea. Choudhury affirmed, “It has been designed to withstand four different types of earthquakes of up to 6.5 magnitude.”
Highlighting the collaborative effort behind this engineering feat, Choudhury revealed that a dedicated team of over six scholars from IIT Bombay had been engaged in designing the bridge since 2018, following the institute’s involvement in the project. The team successfully submitted a comprehensive report within six months, outlining support systems crucial for fortifying the bridge’s foundation.
Choudhury expressed pride in contributing to a project that had been conceived as far back as 1963, stating, “A bridge to connect Mumbai and Navi Mumbai has been envisioned since 1963, so we are proud to be a part of this project.”
Known as the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL), this colossal bridge comes with a hefty price tag of ₹17,840 crore. Experts laud it as an “engineering marvel” that is set to drastically reduce travel time between Mumbai and Navi Mumbai from a cumbersome 2 hours to a mere 20 minutes.
Anticipation surrounds the official inauguration by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, scheduled for today, coinciding with the launch of over ₹30,500 crore worth of projects across Maharashtra. While a substantial 95% of the construction work is already complete, the finalization of remaining tasks, including road laying, electrical work, and the implementation of an intelligent transport system, will take place after the bridge’s connection to the mainland on January 12.
Upon completion, the Atal Setu is expected to accommodate around 70,000 vehicles, playing a pivotal role in alleviating the burgeoning traffic congestion in the region. The bridge emerges not only as a symbol of connectivity but also as a testament to India’s engineering prowess, positioning itself as a transformative force in the realm of infrastructure development.