It appears there will be stiff competition on who will get to build the country’s longest sea bridge as 17 local and international companies attended the pre-bid meet for the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link held on Wednesday.
The meeting was held by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) to answer queries raised by prospective bidders, each of whom had to pay Rs8.8 lakh to attend.
The firms raised various issues pertaining to the financial structuring and the state government’s plans to fund the project. The bidders also demanded to know if a state support agreement (SSA) will be in place before the successful bidder is decided.
SSA has become a major point of concern for infrastructure development firms in Mumbai — the Worli Haji Ali sea link project has got stuck because Reliance Infrastructure wants an SSA before it starts work.
The meeting was chaired by metropolitan commissioner Rahul Asthana, who assured the bidders that the government of India would also be funding the project, which was first mooted 50 years ago.
The MTHL has had a troubled history and has been stalled thrice due to issues raised by concessionaires who were to build the bridge. Hence, the MMRDA had decided to take mitigating measures this time by keeping the interested parties in the loop before it takes any decisions.
The 22-km-long bridge will connect Sewri in the island city to Nhava Sheva in Navi Mumbai. The MMRDA has estimated that when it is completed, by 2018, 44,975 vehicles will use it every day.
The MMRDA estimates that a car will have to pay Rs182 for a one-way journey, a light commercial vehicle will shell out Rs243, truck Rs432, and a multi-axle vehicle will pay Rs620.