Bangalore: Three years after the tendering process for the country’s longest sea bridge project began, the Maharashtra government, on Wednesday, finally decided to go ahead and build it through a special purpose vehicle comprising of its own agencies.
Dogged by delays: The Bandra-Worli sea link bridge in Mumbai. The project is already four years behind schedule.
The Rs6,000 crore, 22-km-long Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) project, connecting Sewri in central Mumbai to Nhava in Navi Mumbai, would become the fourth longest sea-bridge in the world.
While China has built four sea bridges in five years, completing the 7.6km-long Sutong bridge in seven months, India is still struggling to complete its first sea bridge, the Bandra-Worli project which is already four years behind schedule.
After discarding theAnil Ambani-led Reliance Energy Ltd- Hyundai consortium’s bid last week, the government has decide to build the iconic six-lane Nhava-Sewri sea bridge without the involvement of prviate players. The Anil Ambani-led consortium had earlier outbid the Mukesh Ambani-led consortium’s offer, winning the project.
While the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), a state agency will raise loans for the project, the cash-strapped Maharashtra State Road Development Agency (MSRDC) will execute the project. The City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco) will also be involved in a substantial role.
“The government didn’t want the project to be bogged down by controversies at the tendering stage. The financial model will be framed in 15 days,” said Satish Gavai, managing director of MSRDC.
Large infrastructure projects such as these have been mostly stuck at the bidding stage. The Western Freeway project in Mumbai, which is the second phase of the Bandra-Worli sealink, is also stuck, as is the passenger water transport project — another pet venture of the Maharashtra government that includes ferrying people on the Arabian Sea along Mumbai’s western suburbs.