Mumbai: A Reliance Infrastructure-led consortium on Tuesday inked a pact with the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) for the construction of the 7,000-crore Versova-Bandra Sea Link in the city. The construction is expected to begin from October, with a five-year time frame.

Once completed, the 17.7 km bridge on the Arabian Sea will reduce the journey time between the western suburbs of Bandra and Versova in Andheri to just 15 minutes, from the current two hours, according to Radheyshyam Mopalwar, vice-chairman and managing director, MSRDC.

The consortium of Anil Ambani-led RInfra and Italian multinational construction major Astaldi had earlier bagged the EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) contract for the project on a competitive bid basis. The consortium had emerged the most competitive bidder with their bid of 6,993.99 crore.

“Our plan is to start work from next month," according to Mopalwar.

The length of the main eight-lane sea link will be 9.6 kilometres and will have three connectors, one each at Bandra, Carter Road and Juhu. The Varsova-Bandra Sea Link will be three times longer than the existing 5.6-km long Bandra-Worli Sea Link, and will have three toll collection points. The total project cost would come around 11,332.82 crore and the engineering cost around 7,000 crore, Mopalwar said, adding, that MSRDC will put in 20-30% equity in the project, besides raising loans.

Vineet Jalan, chief executive officer, RInfra, said the existing sea link carries 10 lakh vehicles per annum, while the Varsova-Bandra Sea Link is expected to serve nearly 10 times, or one crore vehicles annually.

Besides, RInfra-Astaldi, L&T-Samsung and Hyundai Development Company-ITD were the other bidders in fray.

Reliance Group companies have sued HT Media Ltd, Mint’s publisher, and nine others in the Bombay high court over a 2 October 2014 front-page story that they have disputed. HT Media is contesting the case.

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