MTHL project work will commence from Oct 31: Fadnavis

Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis today said work on the ambitious Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) project will commence from October 31 this year.

Devendra Fadnavis
Devendra Fadnavis

"We have received all the clearances for the project which were pending for almost 15 years. I have kept a deadline for myself that the actual work on the project should start from October 31," Fadnavis said at a book release event here today.

He said the request for proposal or the financial bids for the 22-km and over Rs 12,000 crore project will be invited in March.

"We need to speed up the procedure as we have to also completed financial closure with Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) for the project," he said.

The sea link project involves construction of a bridge across the Mumbai harbour between Sewri on the island city side (in the Mumbai Port Trust area) and Chirle on the Navi Mumbai side. The project is expected to be completed by 2019.

Fadnavis further said the project will not only provide connectivity but also open up huge area of hinterland where affordable housing initiatives can be taken up at large scale.

"It is not about only creating affordable housing stock, but to develop an ecosystem where different modes of transportation are interconnected and there is seamless connectivity," he said.

Fadnavis also said his government is taking various initiatives, but it is necessary to always rethink whether they are right or no.

"We announce initiatives but we need to think whether they are really advisable or no. I am carrying a legacy of problems with me and this is a huge task. I alone can drive a car at 100km per hour but this is not the case. I have to take  everyone along with me and in that case I can't drive at this speed," he said.

Fadnavis also said that "affordable housing" concept is discussed on various foras, but on the ground nothing is happening.

"There is still a huge demand-supply gap. We all know it, but we don't see any activity on ground. I agree there are impediments in taking up such projects, but the government is also working towards providing the necessary approvals in less number of days. We are working in a direction to ensure approvals are received within 60 days rather than 365 days," he said.

He added that the government is also planning to open up salt pan lands for creating affordable housing stock.

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