The state government and Reliance Infrastructure might end up getting into a tiff over the construction of the Worli Haji Ali coastal road, which was planned as a sea link.
The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), which has decided to construct coastal roads instead of sea links, has still not intimated Reliance Infrastructure, the concessionaire, about the change in plan.
The MSRDC had signed a concession agreement with led Reliance Infrastructure in June 2010 to build the Worli Haji Ali Sea Link.
Reliance had in 2010 claimed that it would need to raise resources worth Rs5,100 crore to complete the project and had started doing so.
“At least five letters were written [to the MSRDC] seeking clarity on the sea link. The MSRDC, however, chose not to reply,” an official working closely with the project said on condition of anonymity because he is not authorised to comment on the matter.
This is not the first time that Reliance Infrastructure and MSRDC have had problems with each other.
In 2008, Reliance Infrastructure backed out from building the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link after the MSRDC took months to decide whether it should hand over the project to the company.
“Such arbitrary decisions without keeping the concessionaire informed can send the wrong signals to investors who are looking to invest in improving Mumbai’s infrastructure,” the official said.
The MSRDC claimed that it did not inform or hold discussions with Reliance because it was still not sure whether the Union environment ministry would clear the coastal road project.
The Maharashtra Coastal Zonal Management Authority (MCZMA) in its meeting on Monday sent the proposal to the Centre saying it was important for the city.
“We will talk to Reliance only when we get all clearances. There is no point in asking them to change the plans if the environment laws don’t allow the project to go ahead,” MSRDC vice chairman and managing director Bipin Shrimali had said before the MCZMA’s meeting on Monday.
Shrimali said that the MSRDC would sit with Reliance and work out how they could work to build the coastal road.