The state government on Thursday got into hyperactive mode and cleared four major infrastructure projects for the city, which had been put on hold for more than a year.
A Cabinet committee on infrastructure, headed by Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, gave the go-ahead for construction of the 3.3 km Worli-Haji Ali sealink to Anil Ambani’s Reliance-Hyundai Consortium, approved the route of the Haji Ali-Nariman Point sea link, sanctioned the building of the 12-lane Sion Panvel expressway and cleared redevelopment of the government colony in Bandra.
The decision on the two phases of the sealink – Worli-Haji Ali and Haji Ali-Nariman Point – is a crucial step in the government’s ambitious plan to build the western freeway, a sea route connecting Bandra with Nariman Point.
“Reliance Infrastructre-Hyundai have been awarded the contract for building the Worli-Haji Ali sea link,” MSRDC’s joint managing director Sonia Sethi said.
A year ago, Reliance-Hyundai Consortium had emerged the preferred bidder. The base cost of the bridge is Rs 1,120 crore. However, the bidder will also have to buy the 5.6-km Bandra-Worli sealink from MSRDC at a cost of Rs 1,640 crore. The total cost of construction of the Bandra-to-Haji Ali section and maintenance of the entire stretch has been pegged at Rs 4,500 crore. The winning bidder will have to shell out this amount, after which he will get rights to impose a toll on vehicle owners and recover cost in approximately 40 years.
Reliance Infrastructure-Hyundai was chosen as it had sought viability gap funding (funds from the government to make a project viable) of Rs 1,392 crore, while HCC-John Laing-Samsung quoted a higher figure of Rs 2,466 crore.
The Cabinet Committee also cleared the alignment of the Haji Ali-Nariman Point sea link. “We have finalised the alignment of this sea link, which will be part sealink and part underground tunnel,” Sethi added.
According to the plan, a two-km stretch from Haji Ali to Priydarshini Park will be a sea link, while there will be an 800-metre underground tunnel from Priyadarshini Park to Tambe Chowk via Malabar Hill and a five-km cut-and-cover tunnel from Tambe Chowk to Marine Drive.
One of the biggest real estate projects in the city – the redevelopment of the 96-acre government colony in Bandra – was approved as well. The Public Works Department’s proposal to award the Rs 5,000 crore redevelopment work to three shortlisted builders, D B Reality, Ackruti City and Pune’s Kakade group, got the committee’s nod.
The plot of land would be trifurcated, and three developers would collectively develop 75 acres and hand it over to the government.
In exchange, they will get 20 acres of prime plot for development and commercial sale. The developers are expected to pay around Rs 1,300 crore to the government upfront for this deal.
There are around 250 three-storey buildings in the colony, with 300–to-900 sq ft flats for government staffers. After redevelopment, the plot will have swanky high-rises with 500-to-1000 sq ft flats.