After three decades on the drawing board and 10 years in planning and failed execution, work on the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) will finally begin in October. On Friday, the project got a major boost after the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) inked an agreement for the disbursement of the first tranche of Rs7,910 crore.
MMRDA, which has already commenced the bidding procedure for the 22-km link that will connect Sewri in island city and Nhava Sheva on the mainland, is expected to start ground work post monsoon. According to MMRDA officials, with this first tranche, about 45% of the loan amount has been disbursed. JICA has agreed to fund 85% of the Rs17,843 crore project.
The agreement was inked by Sakamoto, chief representative of JICA, UPS Madan, metropolitan commissioner, MMRDA and Selvakumar, joint secretary, Department of Economic Affairs in New Delhi. “This is a big boost to MTHL because we have already shortlisted contractors, who have been issued a Request for Proposal for the execution of the project,” said Madan.
MMRDA has shortlisted 29 companies, including engineering giants Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and China Railway Major Bridge Engineering Group Co. Ltd, for final stage of bidding for the project. “We will finish all the formalities — the bidding, design — in the next few months. We expected ground work to begin post monsoon,” Sanjay Khandare, additional metropolitan commissioner, MMRDA.
The construction of the link has been divided into three parts. The first two packages are sea-bridge components, while the third includes construction of a road up to Chirle. The sea bridge will be 16.5-km long, while the road will be 3.813-km long. Once completed, the link will provide faster, shorter and comfortable connectivity to Navi Mumbai International Airport, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust along with the highways going to Pune and Goa. The sea link will also help develop parts of Navi Mumbai, Raigad district and its surrounding areas.