The race between two state agencies intent on building the 22-km Mumbai Trans Harbour Link is intensifying every day.
Four days after the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) said that it was keen on the project, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) announced a number of sops if it was allowed to build the bridge.
In a meeting with the chief minister held on Saturday, MMRDA officials proposed a Rs 8311 crore six-lane bridge along with a metro line.
The bridge is to be built on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model wherein a private party will build the bridge and will be allowed to recover his costs through toll.
The PPP model also contains a provision of Viability Gap Funding (VGF) in which money is paid by the government to the contractor to make infrastructure projects commercially viable.
The MMRDA has assured a VGF of 30 per cent along with soft loans of 20 per cent to the builder if they bag the project.
In comparison, the MSRDC, which gave a presentation to the CM last Thursday for building a Rs 7761 crore eight-lane bridge has only assured a VGF of 20 per cent.
“We are in a better position to build the project. Moreover we are a regional development authority and are in a better position to provide holistic development to the region by building the bridge,” Metropolitan Commissioner Ratnakar Gaikwad said.
He added that the final decision on who will build the bridge would be taken by the CM.
The plans to build the 22km sea link, which will connect Nhava to Sewri has been marred with controversy. A controversial and acrimonious tendering process mired with litigation turned into a personal fight between the two Ambani brothers who were the only bidders for the project.
On June 25, the state cabinet committee on infrastructure decided that the government would build the project. The government then asked the MMRDA to fund the project and MSRDC to build it.
However the cash contract floated for the project did not get any response and the project was kept in temporary suspension.