JNPT throws wrench into progress of trans harbour link

JNPT recently informed Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), which will implement the ambitious project connecting Sewri with Nhava Sheva, that they were planning to construct a new terminal at Nhava and would therefore need the sea-bridge’s height to be increased to 51mts.

A meeting has been arranged between MMRDA and JNPT officials in an effort to resolve the issue next week.

Confirming the news, a senior MMRDA official said, “JNPT had written a letter to MMRDA in which they had said that MMRDA should try and increase the height of the bridge at the Nhava Sheva end as JNPT had plans to construct a new terminal and so if the height of the bridge was not increased it would become an obstacle in the way of ships.”

The Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) will connect Sewri to Nhava Sheva. Officials say after the 22-km MTHL is completed, Nhava Sheva area will see massive development, attracting MNCs and a lot of workers, to house whom the authorities are planning satellite townships

According to the MMRDA’s plans, the 22-km long bridge was to be 25 meters tall. However, JNPT wants MMRDA to increase the height of the bridge to 51 meters — equivalent to 17 floors — for a stretch of 300 meters.

While both parties are hoping to resolve the matter through talks, sources at MMRDA told MiD DAY that increasing the height was next to impossible. “The bridge has already received clearance from Institution Empower Committee (IEC) of Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) and now only the clearance from Ministry of Finance is pending. It will be next to impossible for us to make changes in the design or alignment of the bridge (at this point) because if we do so that we would mean restarting the entire process of getting clearances once again.”

Earlier this year, MMRDA’s expert panel had short-listed five eligible consortiums to develop the MTHL. The five short listed consortiums are – CINTRA-SOMA-SREI Consortium, Gammon Infrastructure Projects Ltd-OHL Concessions-G.S. Engineering Consortium, GMR Infrastructure Ltd- L&T Ltd – Samsung C&T Corpn. Consortium,IRB Infrastructure Developers Ltd. – Hyundai Consortium and The Tata Realty and Infrastructure Ltd. – Autostrade Indian Infrastructure Development Pvt. Ltd. – Vinci Concessions Development V Pte Ltd.

MTHL Project will be implemented through Public-Private Partnership on the Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) basis.

The Mumbai Trans Harbour Link connects Sewri in the island city to Nhava in Navi Mumbai. The link is 22 kms long with a 16.5 km long bridge across Mumbai harbour and 5.5 km long viaduct approaches on the Sewri and Nhava sides. Interchanges are proposed at Sewri to connect to Eastern Freeway and at Chirle to connect to the NH 4B to facilitate traffic dispersal. The project involves construction of the longest sea bridge yet in the country.

The entire implementation of the project with an estimated cost of Rs. 8800 Cr (Approx. USD 1760 Million) will be through Public-Private Partnership on the Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) basis.

It is also said that the cost of the project has increased from Rs 8800 crore in 2010 to Rs 9630 crore now and the reason for the same is believed to be the additional scope of connecting arms on Sewri side of the MTHL.

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