The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), which is a planning authority, has invited request for qualification (RFQ) for the appointment of the contractor for the Rs 17,750 crore Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) project. The 22-km long six lane bridge across the Mumbai harbour connecting Mumbai and Navi Mumbai will be implemented on an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) - design build basis and not on the build operate transfer model.
RFQs have been called for three civil packages, including construction of 10.380 km long bridge section across the Mumbai Bay and Sewri interchange (Rs 6,600 crore), 7.807 km long bridge section across Mumbai Bay and Shivaji Nagar inter change (Rs 4,900 crore) and 3.613 km long viaduct including interchanges at state highway 52 and at state highway 54 and at national highway 4B near Chilre in Navi Mumbai.
Of the 22 km, 16.5 km will be bridge component and the balance will be on the coast at Sewri and Nhava. The much ambitious project is expected to de-congest Mumbai.
Bidders will have to submit bids by June 28 while MMRDA plans to appoint the contractor in October. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on Monday has approved 80% loan for the MTHL project and the loan agreement will be signed soon with the government of India. The balance will be mobilised from the state government and MMRDA.
Business Standard had reported today that MTHL is one of the several development projects worth Rs 1 lakh crore, proposed to be launched by December end. MMRDA in the RFQ has said the construction period will be four and half years (mid-2021). However, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has been repeatedly announcing project completion by end-2019.
The MTHL project has been in discussion for the last four decades. The project cost initially was envisaged at Rs 4,500 crore which was subsequently revised to Rs 9,360 crore and later to Rs 11,000 crore. However, the cost was further revised to Rs 17,750 crore this year after JICA suggested some crucial changes in project design, including construction of rescue lane.
The MTHL project hogged the limelight in 2008 when the Ambani brothers had separately bid for it. However, the state-run Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation rejected both the bids, terming them unrealistic. Thereafter, MTHL was re-tendered in 2009, but did not receive enough response after which the project was once again tendered in 2012 and Tata Realty, IRB Infrastructure, GMR, Srei Infra, and Gammon India were shortlisted for the project.
However, all of them stayed away from bidding for it in August 2013, citing lack of clarity over the project's financial viability.