The Rs 18,000-crore Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link (MTHL) project connecting Sewri with Nhava Sheva, which was expected to take off in the month of October this year will be delayed further, as some important documents are yet to be signed with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is funding 85% of the MTHL project.
The Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is funding 85% of the MTHL project.

Therefore, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) cannot go ahead with the tendering process. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis last month had said that the contract of the project would be awarded by October, which according to MMRDA sources, is now next to impossible.

A senior official from MMRDA said, “We were confident that the implementation of MTHL would be done by October as it was expected that the important procedures would be done, but now it seems very difficult, as the procedures are yet to be complete.”

JICA is funding the Rs 18,000 crore MTHL project and as per the details, 85 per cent of this sum is expected to come from it (JICA). “There are some approvals which are yet to come, and a Letter of Intent (LOI) is yet to be signed for this, which is an important thing. Once we have all these things in place, then we can invite tenders for the Request for Qualification (RFQ), after which the project will gather momentum and its actual implementation can be done.”

MMRDA has been projecting MTHL as a big ticket project saying that it will help in the overall development of Mumbai Metropolitan Region. The MTHL project was also discussed between MMRDA and the Japanese government during the Make In India week at BKC in the month of February.

That time a senior MMRDA official had told mid day that the final financial approvals will be completed by March end, after which the planning authority can invite the RFQ and start the tendering process but this has not happened.

The project
The MTHL, connecting Sewri with Nhava Sheva will be a six lane bridge across the Mumbai Harbour, and it will help solve the congestion in Mumbai by improving connectivity between the island city and Navi Mumbai.

The 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 link is about 22 km long with a 16.5 km bridge across the sea and a 5.5 km long viaduct on the land.

The exit and entry into the six lane freeway will be through interchanges at the end points and at the intermediate points on the Navi Mumbai side.