Nhava-Sewri trans-harbour link a step closer to becoming reality
There was some good news for Mumbaikars with the Institution Empower Committee (IEC) of Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) giving in-principal approval to Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority's (MMRDA) ambitious Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) project connecting Sewri with Nhava Sheva.
The clearance was given to the project in a meeting that took place at New Delhi between MMRDA and DEA officials on Tuesday.
Speaking to MiD DAY, MMRDA Commissioner Rahul Asthana said, “The IEC of DEA on Tuesday gave in-principal approval to the project, which is a very important decision. Now the project will go to the empowered committee and then the Finance Ministry for final approval.”
Sources from the planning authority told this newspaper that it was also decided in the meeting that the bidder who will get the contract to construct the bridge will get 35 years as the concession period for the toll collection on the bridge. The issue of getting the Viability Gap Funding (VAG) for the project was also resolved.
VGF fund is an amount that the state agency implementing the project gets as a financial assistance for the project from the central government. The bidders bid for the project depending upon the VGF that is given to any project.
The Mumbai Trans Harbour Link connects Sewri in the island city to Nhava in Navi Mumbai. The link is 22 km 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 the Eastern Freeway and at Chirle to connect to the NH 4B to facilitate traffic dispersal. The project involves construction of the country’s longest sea bridge.
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.