Another infrastructure project in Mumbai may bite the dust on Friday even before it managed to take off.
Exactly two years after it signed a contract with Reliance Infrastructure to build the Worli-Haji Ali sea link, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation on Friday is likely to initiate proceedings to scrap its contract with the company.
The MSRDC is now keen on building the sea link on its own and will seek the approval of the board, meeting on Friday.
However, there are serious questions on whether the agency or the state government can raise the Rs2,400 crore required for the project.
“We will initiate the securitisation process of the sea link by which we will raise money to build the sea link. We will discuss the issue at our board meeting,” MSRDC vice chairman and managing director Bipin Shrimali said.
The MSRDC is now planning to build the sea link through the engineering procurement construction model, where it will ask the contractor to design and execute the project on a cash contract. MSRDC will be funding the project through its own resources.
The MSRDC hopes to raise funds by securitising the Bandra Worli sea link and the Worli-Haji Ali sea link.
By securitisation, the MSRDC hopes to get a substantial amount in from a private company, which will then be given the rights to charge toll on the two links for a certain period.
The MSRDC in 2009 had raised Rs2,100 crore by allowing a private company to charge toll on Mumbai’s roads for a period of 16 years.
The MSRDC also plans to build only four lanes initially and then complete the construction of the remaining four lanes after a period of time.
The Worli-Haji Ali sea link has been stalled for nearly two years due to differences between MSRDC and Reliance Infra.
The parties, who had signed a concession agreement for building the bridge in June 2010 have been accusing each other of reneging on the terms of the contract.
A mediator — retired high court judge BP Singh — was appointed to sort out the issues. The mediator had asked the MSRDC to comply with the terms of the contract, which the agency seems to be not in a position to follow.