Work on the 22 km Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL), which promises to cut travel time between south Mumbai and Navi Mumbai to just 30 minutes, is expected to begin by January. As many as 20 consortia have submitted bids for three packages of the project. The bids are expected to be finalised before the end of this month. CM Devendra Fadnavis said, “Work on the project is expected to begin in December-January .“ Fadnavis and shipping minster Nitin Gadkari were present at the bhoomi pujan of a passenger and ro-ro terminus at Ferry Wharf on eastern seafront. On the occasion, the setting up of a bunkering facility at Jawahar Dweep (Butcher Island, near Elephanta caves) and the construction of a fifth oil berth were announced.
Work on the MTHL will more or less coincide with that on Navi Mumbai airport. Of the 22 km Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL), the length of the sea bridge will be 16.5 km, for which work has been divided into two components.
The land component of the package will be executed separately . For the two sea bridge components, eleven consortia each have submitted bids. For the road component, 17 bids have been received. Among the bidders are Reliance Infrastructure (part of the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group), AFCONS Infrastructure Limited (a part of Shapoorji Pallonji Group) and L&T (Larsen & Toubro).Many have tied up with partners from Europe, China and Japan.
The MMRDA decided to undertake the MTHL's construction on cash-contract basis after it failed to receive bids from a pre-qualified consortia till August 2013. At the time it had tried to execute the project on the public-private partnership (PPP) model.
The Japan International Cooperative Agency (JICA) has consented to fund 80% of the project cost. A formal loan agreement is expected to be signed during the prime minister's visit to Japan.
The MTHL will connect Sewri in the island city to Nhava Sheva in Navi Mumbai. The link will provide crucial connectivity from central and southern Mumbai to the proposed Navi Mumbai airport. This includes viaducts totalling a length of 5.5 km on land. The link will consist of six lanes (three on either side) and will have interchanges at Sewri in Mumbai and near Chirle village on NH-4B in Navi Mumbai. The MTHL may decongest Mumbai not only by diverting traffic, but also because many people may opt to shift to Navi Mumbai owing to its reduced distance with Mumbai.