Time for a reality check on the Bandra Worli Sealink. I've taken these photos from five different locations - Worli Sea Face, Twin Towers (Prabhadevi), Chaityabhoomi (Dadar), Bandra Reclamation and finally, Band Stand.
For a brief recap on this ambitious - and long-delayed project - do read my earlier post here or visit the project's website.
Quick facts - Its a 6km long road which will connect Bandra Reclamation to Worli Seaface. It is slated to cost about Rs1,306crores and is (as its signboard will tell you) expected to be completed a year from now, i.e. April 2008.
If this does get completed on time, the present Congress+NCP Government will use it as a poster boy for vital Mumbai infrastructure that they completed during their tenure. Of course, the utility of the BWSL has always been - and will continue to be - debated. Put simply - how can a project, which is clearly in favour of motorists, be justified, when precious little has been done to boost Mumbai's local trains? And then of course, there are concerns on the environmental impact of the BWSL. Anyway, I'm not touching on these aspects as I've already covered parts of them in earlier posts. This post is specifically on the photos and the progress underway on the project.
Note - if any of the photos look hazy, please click on them for an enlarged views. If any of you readers are kind enough to improve the quality of the photos (I've just touched them up using "I'm feeling lucky" on Picasa), I would really appreciate your help.
Picture 1 - This is what you see if you're standing on Worli Sea Face. One platform jutting out from the road. This is the point of entry/exit to the BWSL from Worli Side. Initially, the flyover over Love Grove was supposed to connect the BWSL to Haji Ali, but I'm not sure if this is the case now.
Picture 2 - Another photo from Worli Sea Face. We'll soon see how this looks like from other places in Mumbai.
Picture 3 - I'm now near Twin Towers and in this photo you can see the same cranes you saw in the earlier photos. This is Worli Village.
Picture 4 - So, this is essentially the work done from the Worli Side on the BWSL. Not much. Wait till you see Bandra.
Picture 5 - For example, this stretch of road looks weird, detached as it is from Worli Sea Face.
Picture 6 - We're now at Chaityabhoomi, Dadar Beach. This is a view of Worli village and you can see some cranes in the background which are the same ones you see in Pictures 1 and 2.
Picture 7 - This is really the progress on the BWSL and what stands of it as of now in May 2007. Notice the stretch coming out of Bandra Reclamation. The entire project is due to be completed by May 2008. Will it? Watch this space. And yes, I wish I had a better camera.
Picture 8 - The central tower of the BWSL, which I think will be 128metres high once it is complete.
Picture 9 - The work from the Bandra side. You can see both hotels - Sea Rock and Taj Land's end in the background. We're headed there in a bit.
Picture 10 - This is what you see if you're at Bandra Reclamation. Note the central tower, with green covers on top and the strip of road, seen in picture 5 above, from the Worli Side.
Picture 11 - The entrance at Bandra Reclamation, entry beyond which is currently restricted. The signboard says it all. 30th April 2008, 4.7km (I think this is just the stretch of road from Reclamation to Worli Sea Face, while the additional 1.5km is the distance from the Bandra main signal to this entrance at the end of Bandra Reclamation).
Picture 12 - In this photo, you can see clearly see the ramp which leads up to the link. So, the entire stretch of road on Bandra Reclamation (i.e. the same road where so many movies have been shot) is connected to the sea-link. A lot of the construction trucks ply here everyday.
Picture 13 - We're now at Band Stand, almost end of journey. This is what the above area (Picture 12) looks like from the other side. This part was already built a year back (these are my earlier photos, shot a year back, from this same location)
Picture 14 - End of the road. This is the view from the Band Stand point, note that platform stretching out from the bottom of the pillars to the central tower (green cover on the top). Wonder what's that for.