Finally it’s been decided. Motorist who will be using the proposed Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) bridge connecting Sewri with Nhava Sheva will have to spend Rs 175 to cross the 22 kms of the sea-bridge.
On Friday, the MMRDA requested Maharashtra government’s high-powered committee to speed up the process to issue a toll notification for the ambitious project.
A meeting of senior state government officials including officials from the Urban Development department and the MMRDA took place on Friday in which the issues of toll rates for notification and state support agreement of the sea link were discussed.
A highly-placed source from the government said, “Development authority officials informed their counterparts to start the process to bring out a notification on the toll rates for MTHL as per the proposal put up by the MMRDA. The entire process is lengthy and will take a few weeks before it is issued.”
The MMRDA has proposed Rs 175 for light vehicles, Rs 265 for light commercial vehicles, Rs 525 for buses and trucks and Rs 790 for heavy vehicles or trailers. All the toll rates are for single direction travel on the 22-km long bridge.
The toll rates once approved will be hiked every three years by five percent. It should take five years to construct the bridge and toll collection will be allowed for 30 years after its completion.
Sources from MMRDA told this newspaper that the contract for the project will be awarded in early 2013 and construction is expected to start by late 2013. “If everything goes well then the bridge will be completely ready for operation by 2017,” the official said.
The Mumbai Trans Harbour Link will connect 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 crore 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.