After being kept in abeyance for close to 41 months, the Rs8800-crore Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) has finally got some impetus, with the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) planning to call for Request for Qualification (RFQ) from interested parties.
MTHL had been in cold storage since June 2008 when Reliance Infrastructure, which was selected to build the project, decided to back out after delays by the state government in clearing its proposal.
For over three years, the project had been a contentious issue in the government, which was not able to decide which agency should build the project. In April this year, the chief minister decided that the project would be built by the MMRDA.
The RFQ will help MMRDA in screening and shortlisting companies that will be eligible for building the MTHL.
The MTHL will connect Sewri in the island city to Nhava Sheva in Navi Mumbai. The link is 22km long with a 16.5-km long bridge across Mumbai harbour and 5.5-km long viaduct approaches on the Sewri and Nhava Sheva sides. Interchanges are proposed at Sewri to connect to Eastern Freeway and at Chirle to connect to National Highway 4B to facilitate traffic dispersal. The project involves construction of the longest sea bridge yet in the country.
"MTHL will transform the way the city travels. With this link, the vast areas on the main land would be available for expansion of the city in the future," said metropolitan commissioner Rahul Asthana.
MMRDA will finalise the pre-qualified bidders by the first week of March 2012. The qualified bidders will then be eligible for bidding for the MTHL. MMRDA is hoping to award the contract by September 2012.