After the Ambani brothers fought for it, two government agencies could be engaged in a tug-of-war over the much-delayed Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) between Sewri and Nhava Sheva.
The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) has told Chief Minister Ashok Chavan that it would build the Rs 7,700-crore project alone on a build-operate-transfer basis.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) that was originally supposed to raise funds for the project and implement it wants the government to stick to the earlier plan.
A senior MMRDA official requesting anonymity said that the authority would try to convince Chavan on Friday. “The CM has called us to present our plan and we will tell him we want to be part of it as per the original plan.”
MSRDC Chairman and Public Works Department Minister Jaidatta Kshirsagar, however, told HT that his agency did not need any help with the project.
“The Centre has already approved of 20 per cent viability gap funding and we also have other means of raising funds,” said Kshirsagar. He said developing the land off the 4-km stretch on the Nhava-Sheva side was one of the options for raising funds. “We have asked the CM for an FSI of 4 for this area.”
Kshirsagar will soon place the proposal before the Cabinet sub-committee on infrastructure.
MMRDA’s Additional Commissioner S. V. R. Srinivas, meanwhile, left it to the government to decide. “We will abide by the state government’s decision.”
The 22-km, eight-lane MTHL will connect the eastern side of Sewri railway station to the National Highway 4 in Navi Mumbai via Shivaji Nagar. It will reduce travelling time from two hours to 30 minutes.
Last year, the project was stalled because of unrealistic bids made by the estranged Ambani brothers. It was then decided to give the project to a state-run agency.