Mumbai Trans Harbour Link update

While we continue to dilly dally on the trans harbour link, China has started construction of the longest bridge in the sea (Pic above).
Even before the Cabinet subcommittee for infrastructure has taken a decision on the financial model for the Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link project, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is preparing a fresh model. "We've roped in KPMG to prepare a new financial model that is expected to be ready within three weeks. We'll then submit the report to the cabinet for approval," said Ratnakar Gaikwad, metropolitan commissioner, MMRDA.
The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) had submitted a proposal to the Cabinet in July.The two state government agencies are in a battle to implement the ambitious project.According to senior state government officials, MMRDA wants to execute the project financially, without involving MSRDC, due to MSRDC's financial condition.
The financial model submitted by MSRDC involves a PPP model, with the government deciding the concession period: how many years the concessionaire would collect the toll on the bridge. If the government decides a concession period of 40 years, the bidder will quote for a government grant if it feels 40 years is not enough to recover the construction cost, a state government official said.
The 22.5-km link between Sewri and Nhava on the hinterland has been in the government files since the 1970s.Lately, the state government had invited bids to develop the sea link on a public-private partnership model but failed to attract bidders amid the economic slowdown. Earlier the government scrapped two bids from the Ambani brothers, terming them unrealistic.
Under the proposal, the eight-lane sea link, which is estimated to cost around Rs 6,000 crore, will run from Messant Road on the eastern side of Sewri railway station on Harbour Line, traverse through the creek waters and meet the mainland near Shivaji Nagar, and end on National Highway 4B at Chirle in Navi Mumbai.
The proposed sea link offers to cut the distance between the two locations by 15 km and reduce travel time from more than two hours to about 30 minutes. According to MSRDC sources, like the Bandra-Worli Sea Link, the proposed MTHL could also be a cable-stayed bridge.

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