The Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link (MTHL), which will offer faster connectivity to Navi Mumbai by connecting Sewri to Nhava, is set to get the final nod from the Union environment ministry as the mapping of 1.5 hectares of land in the coastal zone is close to completion.
While granting the project an in-principle environmental clearance in September 2012, the ministry had asked the project's planning authority, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), to map the land that falls under coastal regulation zone 1 and submit it for the final go-ahead.
Sharad Sabnis, chief engineer, MMRDA, said: "As a pre-requisite for issuance of the final approval letter, we were asked to carry out CRZ mapping of the project land. We have almost finished the CRZ mapping of the land and a final report is being prepared, which will be sent to the ministry in the next two weeks."
The mapping of the 1.5 hectares of land is being done by the Chennai-based Institute of Remote Sensing (IRS). CRZ mapping involves mapping an area through a set of satellite images taken with short time intervals between two images to display its geographical data.
The ministry has also asked the MMRDA to plant mangroves on nine hectares of land as compensation for the destruction of mangroves on the 1.5 hectares to allow the construction of the MTHL.
"We anticipate that the final approval letter will be issued by the ministry in one month's time, after we submit the CRZ mapping report," Sabnis said. The MMRDA can then award the contract for the construction of the MTHL to one of the shortlisted consortiums. "The tendering process is likely to be carried out as per the schedule. The contract is expected to be given to one of the consortiums by the end of May."
The MMRDA has shortlisted five consortiums for the Rs9,630-crore project, which will be implemented through public-private partnership on design, build, finance, operate and transfer basis.