Cracks found on new Atal Setu in Mumbai, Congress alleges corruption

The Atal Bihari Vajpayee Sewri-Nhava Sheva Atal Setu, popular as the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL), has recently become the center of a heated controversy. This significant infrastructure project, aimed at enhancing connectivity between Mumbai and Navi Mumbai, is under scrutiny after cracks appeared on its tar road exit towards Ulwe in Navi Mumbai. Inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi just over five months ago, the bridge has sparked a debate over construction quality and allegations of corruption.

Background of the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL)

The MTHL was envisioned to be a transformative project for Mumbai’s infrastructure. Designed to reduce travel time and ease traffic congestion between Mumbai and Navi Mumbai, it stands as the longest sea bridge in India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated The bridge in January this year, marking a milestone in the country’s infrastructure development. Built at a cost of approximately Rs 17,840 crore, the MTHL is named in honor of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, reflecting its importance and prestige.

Construction Details

The construction of the MTHL involved several top-tier engineering firms and was executed under challenging conditions. The bridge boasts a total length of 22 kilometers, featuring multiple lanes and advanced engineering techniques to withstand marine and environmental challenges. Despite these efforts, the appearance of cracks soon after its inauguration has cast a shadow over the project.

Discovery of Cracks

Cracks were observed on the tar road exit towards Ulwe in Navi Mumbai, triggering widespread concern. These cracks appeared on one side of the road, prompting immediate reactions from the public and officials alike. Images and videos of the cracks quickly circulated on social media, intensifying scrutiny and public outcry.

Government and Opposition Reactions

Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole visited the site to inspect the cracks firsthand, raising serious concerns about the safety of commuters. Patole criticized the government, alleging corruption and negligence in the construction process. His statements called into question the integrity of the project and urged the public to hold the government accountable. The government, on the other hand, has defended its actions, promising thorough investigations and necessary repairs.

Safety Concerns

The presence of cracks on such a significant bridge has naturally raised safety concerns. Experts have warned about potential risks to commuters if the issues are not promptly addressed. In response, authorities have implemented immediate safety measures and are conducting detailed assessments to ensure the bridge’s structural integrity. Engineers and specialists are working round-the-clock to evaluate the extent of the damage and mitigate any risks.

Allegations of Corruption

Nana Patole and other opposition leaders have pointed fingers at the government, accusing it of corruption and mismanagement in the construction of the Atal Setu. They argue that substandard materials and poor oversight led to the current situation. While some evidence has been presented to support these claims, the government has denied any wrongdoing, emphasizing the project’s complexity and unforeseen challenges.

Impact on Commuters

For daily commuters, the cracks have caused significant disruptions. With parts of the road affected, traffic has been rerouted, leading to longer travel times and increased congestion. Public transport services have had to adjust their routes, further complicating the commute for many. Commuters have expressed frustration and concern over the safety and reliability of the bridge.

Maintenance and Repair Plans

In light of the cracks, immediate repair work has been prioritized. Engineers are focusing on stabilizing the affected areas and preventing further damage. Long-term maintenance plans are also being developed to ensure the bridge’s durability and safety. The government has allocated additional resources and budget to address these issues and restore public confidence in the project.

Political Implications

The controversy surrounding the Atal Setu has significant political implications. The ruling party’s image has taken a hit, with the opposition leveraging the issue to question the government’s competence and integrity. This incident may influence voter sentiment and have lasting repercussions on future elections.

Comparisons with Other Infrastructure Projects

The problems faced by the MTHL are not unique. Other major infrastructure projects in India and around the world have encountered similar issues. By examining these cases, valuable lessons can be learned about project management, quality control, and the importance of transparency in large-scale constructions.

Economic Implications

The cracks in the Atal Setu also have economic consequences. Repairing the damage will require substantial funds, adding to the project’s overall cost. Moreover, traffic disruptions can negatively impact local businesses and the economy. Ensuring the bridge’s functionality is crucial for maintaining economic stability in the region.

Public Opinion

Public reaction to the cracks has been overwhelmingly negative. Social media platforms are filled with criticism and demands for accountability. Some have organized protests, calling for better oversight and transparency. Surveys indicate a decline in public trust towards the authorities responsible for the project.

Future Prospects of the MTHL

Despite the current challenges, the MTHL holds promise for the future. Planned extensions and upgrades aim to enhance its capacity and resilience. If the current issues are effectively addressed, the bridge can still fulfill its intended purpose of improving connectivity and boosting economic growth.


The controversy over the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Sewri-Nhava Sheva Atal Setu highlights critical issues in infrastructure development. The cracks on the newly inaugurated bridge have raised serious concerns about safety, corruption, and project management. Moving forward, the government needs to address these problems transparently and efficiently to restore public confidence and ensure the bridge’s success.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *