Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) has clarified that the Rs 7,000-crore Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) has not been shelved, but is still uncertain.
However, consultants of the project said that the state government has misinterpreted the essence of the project, promoting it as merely a transport project.
In April this year, the state government had hinted that the MTHL might not see the light of the day.
“MTHL was a greenfield land development project that was aimed at improving the area in a holistic manner. But the government has promoted it as a transport project,” said S Chakraborty, CMD, Consultancy Engineering Services, India (CES).
CES has played a vital role in studying various infrastructure projects for Mumbai and its metropolitan region since the 1980s.
The main purpose of MTHL was to push for Navi Mumbai's overall development by connecting it with Mumbai, thereby resulting in improvement of surrounding infrastructure and construction of high rises.
However, the state government took MTHL as an individual transport project that focused mainly on the number of vehicles entering Navi Mumbai.
MTHL was expected to carry more than 95,000 vehicles per day heading towards Pune, Konkan, Goa, Thane and the southern states.
Meanwhile, MSRDC Vice Chairman, Satish Gavai said, “The project has not been shelved.” MSRDC have now proposed to take up this project on the Built Operate Transfer (BOT) basis with the help of Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA).
The consultants CES are reviewing the MTHL again, for which it has already prepared Detailed Project Report (DPR) thrice over the years.
Tenders for the project were called about two years ago with both the Ambani brothers participating in it.
Anil Ambani led Reliance Infrastructure quoted a concession period of nine years, 11 months and one day, while Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries asked for 75 years to complete the project and collect toll.
The Central government on the other hand views the failure of all major projects across the country worth $500 billion due to recession and dip in interest of private companies in implementing these projects.
“As per the eleventh five-year plan, we were expecting foreign investments of $ 500 billion (Rs 20.56 lakh crore)
in various infrastructure related sectors,” said Gajen-
dra Haldea, Principal Advisor (Infrastructure), Planning Commission told reporters during a seminar organised by Indian Merchants Chamber.
He added, “Presently we are not able to meet this expectation but are confident of getting FIIs in another 18 months or so.”