MMRDA clarifies after Cong leader Nana Patole claims cracks on Atal Setu


Mumbai, June 21 (IANS) Hours after Maharashtra Congress President Nana Patole claimed that cracks have appeared on the swank new Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL), also known as Atal Setu, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) clarified on Friday that the cracks are not on the actual bridge, but on the approach road from the Navi Mumbai side.

The cracks — detected at three locations on Ramp 5 (towards Mumbai) — are minor and located along the road surface near the edges, MMRDA said.

Scoffing rumours on social media that the cracks were on the main bridge itself, the MMRDA’s operation and maintenance team inspected the site on Thursday and discovered the problem on the Ulwe side in Navi Mumbai, across Thane Creek.

The 21.8 km long six-lane bridge has a 16.5 km sea link connecting South Mumbai and Navi Mumbai.

The MMRDA said that the Package 4 contractor (Strabag Infrastructure & Safety Solutions GmbH and Strabag AG) has already initiated the repair works which shall be completed within 24 hours without causing any disruption to the traffic movement.

“It is important to note that these cracks are not due to any structural defects. They are minor longitudinal cracks in the asphalt pavement, which can be effectively repaired without impacting the life or performance of the pavement,” the MMRDA said.

Commenting on the matter, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said in a post on X: “There is no crack on Atal Setu, nor is there any danger to Atal Setu. This is the picture of the approach road. But one thing is clear – Congress has made a long-term plan to create a ‘rift’ with the help of lies… Only the people of the country will defeat this ‘daraar’ plan and the corrupt behaviour of the Congress…”

On learning about the problem, Nana Patole visited the Atal Setu on Friday and later accused the state government of corruption in the mega project.

Patole said that barely six months after the Atal Setu was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi (on January 12), cracks have appeared on it and a half-kilometre stretch of the road on the Navi Mumbai side has sunk by around one foot.

“The MahaYuti government has crossed all limits of corruption. The previous BJP government in Karnataka was a 40 per cent commission regime, but this government is 100 per cent commission-based,” Patole told mediapersons.

He pointed out that the government spent over Rs 18,000 crore for the MTHL with loans, and “this is not development but sheer corruption, and the state government is filling its own pockets while playing with the lives of the people”.

Patole said that since the project was thrown open by the Prime Minister, the government should have examined it properly before it was opened for vehicular traffic.

He also vowed that the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) will raise this and other aspects of corruption of the ruling MahaYuti regime in the upcoming Assembly session.



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