Although it’s not an official one, the state government is going to make most of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to the state on January 6 and 7.
Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan will make a pitch for Rs. 14,000 crore from the Centre for vital infrastructure projects in the city.
The state wants funds for four major projects — third corridor of the Mumbai Metro, the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link, the multi-modal Virar-Alibaug corridor and the Navi Mumbai airport. The total cost of these projects is around Rs. 41,000 crore.
“We have a shortfall of around Rs. 17,000 crore for these projects and hope that the Centre will bear the maximum burden up to Rs. 14,000 crore,’’ said a senior bureaucrat on condition of anonymity.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has been bargaining for more than the permissible 20% viability gap funding (VGF) for these projects.
The third corridor of the Mumbai Metro is the most expensive at Rs. 12,000 crore. It includes the underground stretch from Colaba to Bandra. The Centre refused to grant the corridor VGF of Rs. 8,700 crore in November last year.
Similarly, the state is keen on fast-tracking the 140-km long Virar-Alibaug corridor, estimated to cost Rs. 10,000 crore. The government is also looking at Rs. 2,000 crore for the 22-km Mumbai Trans Harbour Link that will link Sewri to Nhava on the mainland.
And with cost of the Navi Mumbai airport increasing by nearly 40% to Rs. 9,970 crore, Chavan is expected to use his good offices with the PM to get backing for the projects.