Days after it decided to scrap Reliance Infrastructure’s contract for building the Worli-Haji Ali sea link, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) is now struggling to raise funds for the project.
The cash-strapped agency has now sought the state
government’s help to fund the project. This is not the first time the agency has turned to the state: in 2010, the government had turned down the MSRDC’s request for Rs1,392 crore as viability gap funding for the project. It had also refused to provide a state support agreement for the same.
“We have sought the state government’s help in raising Rs1,500 crore for undertaking the second phase of the
Worli-Haji Ali sea link. We have asked for a state support agreement for raising the money, for which the state can get a 0.25% fee,” said a senior official who is involved with the project.
The MSRDC made this proposal in a meeting held on August 2 with deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar.
The MSRDC board had, on August 9, decided to terminate RInfra’s contract for building the sea link and had suggested to the state government that it would like to undertake the project on its own.
The MSRDC has claimed that it can build the bridge at a cost of Rs2,600 crore, whereas RInfra had estimated the cost to be around Rs2,800 crore. The authority wants to initially build the first four lanes of the sea link. Money for this will be raised by securitising the Bandra-Worli sea link and the proposed Worli-Haji Ali sea link.
Securitisation involves an agency providing the MSRDC money up front, following which it gets the rights to collect toll on both sea links for a period of 40 years.
However, this will not be enough to fund the entire eight-lane bridge, but will be enough to fund the first phase of the project, according to the MSRDC.