The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) and the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) have been competing over undertaking infrastructure projects in the city.
The two government agencies are now sparring over who should pay for the studies conducted on the 22-km Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL).
Touted to be the country’s biggest sea link, the MTHL will provide a new link for the coastal city to the hinterland. Although the MSRDC was supposed to build the bridge, in April, the state government announced its decision to hand over the project to the MMRDA.
A fuming MSRDC, which is reeling under a debt of Rs4,000 crore, has demanded Rs25 crore from the MMRDA to share information about the project.
The road development authority has declined to part with papers and the techno-economic feasibility study of the project that it had conducted. “We have spent a substantial amount [of money] on the project and it is fair that we ask for it from the MMRDA,” an MSRDC official said on condition of anonymity.
Not keen to shell out the money, the MMRDA has floated tenders scouting for a consultant to undertake a new techno-economic feasibility of the project. It, however, needs the reports and studies that the MSRDC earlier conducted to formulate a proper report.
Rahul Asthana, metropolitan commissioner, said: “We have received the demand for money. However, we are confident that we will be able to sort the issue amicably.” MMRDA officials said they would not part with the money as the project was being undertaken for the welfare of the public.
The MMRDA had earlier claimed that work on the project would start by the end of 2012 and would likely to be completed in six years with a partial opening in four years. However, MSRDC’s refusal to share the documents could create problems for the project.
The MTHL project had been pending for a long time due to various reasons. In 2008, when the tender was first floated, there were just two parties and the financial gap was huge and in 2009 the tender did not get response due to global recession, he explained.
The feud between the government agencies added to the delay. Following the conflict, in April 2010, the then chief minister Ashok Chavan had asked urban development secretary TC Benjamin to prepare a report recommending which agency should be given the