Another sea link gets state government nod, travel from Versova to Worli in 12 minutes soon
Worli to Versova in 12 minutes? It may be possible soon.
The Maharashtra government on Monday gave the final nod to the proposed Versova-Bandra sea link (VBSL) project.
The final nod comes after the cabinet sub-committee on infrastructure, headed by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, gave its go-ahead to the project in June.
The sea link is a crucial component of the coastal road project, which envisages connecting south Mumbai and the western suburbs by a series of reclaimed roads, tunnels and a sea links.
The proposed sea link will continue north-wards, from the Bandra-end of the 5.6-km Bandra-Worli sea link (BWSL).
The VBSL will also have a 30-m long cable-stayed section, similar to the BWSL. The sea link will have three connectors-- one at Otter’s Club, Bandra; second at Juhu Koliwada and the third at Nana Nani Park at Versova.
With this go ahead, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC)-- the nodal agency for the project -- will commence the process to invite bids (request for proposal) for the construction of the sea link that is estimated to cost Rs7,502 crore.
The state-run MSRDC has already selected five qualified bidders -- Reliance-CGCD JV, Hyundai-ITD Cementation JV, CHEC-Soma JV, HCC-SKEC JV and L&T-Daewoo JV. “We have shortlisted five consortia for the construction of VBSL. These processes were going on simultaneously while we were awaiting a go-ahead from the state government. The construction is expected to start by March 2018 and we expect it to be complete by 2020-end,” said a senior MSRDC official.
Meanwhile, the state government also extended the concession period of the two sea links till 2052, which means motorists will now have to pay the toll on sea links till March 31, 2052. The MSRDC had sought to extend the toll collection period on BWSL, which was earlier till 2039, to raise funds for other projects including the VBSL. The MSRDC is going to raise funds for the sea link through domestic market. “We have roped in SBI Caps to raise funds for the project. We had started the process much in advance so when the nod from the government comes, we are ready with our plan. The response from lenders is good, as we have a great track record,” a senior official added requesting anonymity.
The MSRDC, however, is yet to get clearance from the forest department for the mangroves that need to be removed at the sites, where the three connectors are proposed. “We are in advanced stages of discussion with the forest department. We will secure a clearance in a month,” the MSRDC official said.
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