Ahead of the announcement of the code of conduct for the ensuing Lok Sabha polls, the state-run Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) has invited request for qualification (RFQ) for the Rs 5,975 crore Versova-Bandra Sea Link (VBSL) project. The 9.9 km project would be developed through public private partnership on a design, build, finance, operate and transfer basis. The VBSL project would be built 900 metres into the sea. It would be a northward extension of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link and would be the last leg of the link which starts from Nariman Point in south Mumbai. “The project is expected to be complete in four years. All the requisite clearances including environment clearance are in the MSRDC’s possession,” MSRDC chairman and public works minister Jaidutt Kshirsagar told Business Standard. He informed that the state cabinet sub-committee on infrastructure headed by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had given its consent at its meeting held in January. He added the bidders would have to submit an RFQ by May 30. This is one of the crucial infrastructure projects proposed by the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party government, with a total investment of Rs 66,000 crore in Mumbai and adjoining areas. ALSO READ: Mumbai residents to experience hassle-free travel soon On February 1, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) commissioned the first phase of monorail services between Wadala and Chembur, while on February 5, the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) floated an RFQ for the much-delayed Navi Mumbai International Airport. On February 12, MMRDA threw open the Sahar Elevated Road, connecting the Western Expressway to Terminal 2 of the airport. The government hopes the 12 km Mumbai Metro Phase I Versova-Andheri-Gahtkopar corridor will be operational in March.
Furthermore, the 6.54 km Santacruz-Chembur Link Road project, which has already missed 11 deadlines since its inception in 2003, would be opened for vehicular traffic during this month. Apart from this, MSRDC has also invited tenders for the appointment of project management consultants for construction of termnal facilities at Ferry Wharf in south Mumbai, Nerul in Navi Mumbai and Mandwa in Raigad district. The construction of terminals is a part of the state government’s ambitious Rs 1,300-crore Eastern Water Transport project, which is expected to fast track daily commuting between Mumbai and Navi Mumbai. MSRDC, which is the implementing agency for the inland water transport project, would get a secured loan from CIDCO to the extent of 35 per cent of the total cost or Rs 400 crore at an interest of 9 per cent. The inland water transport project would be developed on the engineering, procurement and construction or EPC model. The project aims to provide an alternative mode of transport, especially when the services run by BEST, and central and western railways are overcrowded in Greater Mumbai. The 27-year-old plan to use Mumbai’s coastline for a mass rapid transit system has been unable to take off till now due to the lack of administrative approvals.