Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and Megha Engineering & Infrastructures Ltd. (MEIL) are the only two bidders left for the construction of the Thane – Borivali twin tunnel project in Mumbai. This road project by Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) will feature two tunnels under Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) and a combined one kilometre of approach roads on both ends.
The tunnels will have three lanes each and will be constructed using four mega tunnel boring machines (TBMs). The maximum depth of the tunnels will be 23 metres below the surface, and they will connect Magathane’s Ekta Nagar in Borivali and Tikuji-Ni-Wadi at Manpada in Thane.
The MMRDA had invited tenders for the civil construction of the project under two packages in December 2022, with an unknown estimate and a four-year completion deadline. The project’s total estimated cost is Rs. 13,200 crore.
MMRDA’s Brief Scope of Package 1 includes the design and construction of a 5.75 km long twin tube road tunnel on the Borivali side, while MMRDA’s Brief Scope of Package 2 involves the design and construction of a 6.09 km Thane-side long twin tube road tunnel.
Currently, the proposals are being subjected to a technical examination that might take many months to complete. Once that is done, the financial bids of the technically qualified bidders will be opened to reveal who the lowest bidder is and the most likely contractor for each package.
The project aims to reduce the driving time between both spots drastically. Currently, it takes one to two hours to travel between the two points, depending on the day and time. With the completion of the project, the travel time is expected to be reduced to just about 15 minutes.
The National Board for Wildlife has granted wildlife clearance for the project, while environmental clearance for diverting 57.02 hectares of forest area is still pending.
In addition to this tunnel project, the BMC’s 12.20 km Goregaon-Mulund Link Road, which will feature 6.3 km twin tunnels to form another east-west link beneath SGNP just south of the Thane – Borivali tunnels, is being closely monitored. The bid opening date for this project is April 13.