Your wait for a passenger water transport system in Mumbai may just get longer. Three months after the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) submitted a report seeking permission to begin work on the water transport project along the western coast, the state government is yet to give its nod.
Stuck in the planning stages for the last three decades, the Rs1,200-crore water transport project received a major fillip after the MSRDC found a bidder in August this year. Pratibha Industries along with Inai Kiara Sdn Bhd, Malaysia’s premier dredging company, had won the bid for a period of 29 years.
The MSDRC board had cleared the proposal on September 9 and sent it to the state government for further scrutiny. “We are now waiting for their green signal,” said MSRDC chief engineer Subhash Nage.
State officials, however, claim that they are still evaluating the proposal. “We are looking into the details and will take a decision soon,” said chief minister Prithviraj Chavan.
The project would make use of the city’s 62-km coastline to ferry passengers on a daily basis. It has been divided into two parts; one along the west coast from Nariman Point to Borivli and the other along east coast from Nerul to Ferry Wharf.
The project from Borivli to Nariman Point will have hovercrafts or catamarans ferrying passengers, with stops at Bandra, Juhu (near Holiday Inn), Versova and Marve in between. The time required for completion of the project after it receives approval from the government is estimated to be four years. However, the project is to be carried out in phases with the first phase, Nariman Point-Bandra-Versova, to be completed in 22 months.