Water transport project on Mumbai's west coast awaits nod
In order to clear one of the most important hurdles in front of the Inland Passenger Water Transport Project (IPWT) on the west coast of Mumbai, a public hearing has been organised by Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) along with Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) in November end.
Sources from the corporation told this newspaper that the public hearing is likely to turn into a debate since the many of the people residing on Mumbai’s west coast are opposed to the project.
It is also believed that Mumbaikars are likely to question the environment impact on the west coast due to the construction of jetties.
Speaking to MiD DAY, a senior MSRDC engineer said, “As per the guidelines, before starting the project we have to organise a public hearing where people can have their say. We, therefore, have organised a public hearing for the IPWT project on November 30. In this hearing, those who have any suggestions and objections for the project can raise their point.”
In March, MSRDC had invited tenders from interested bidders for the construction of terminals on the west coast of Mumbai. It should be noted that the fate of the ambitious IPWT project on the west coast has been in limbo for many years.
The process to get environment clearance for the project is also in progress and MSRDC is confident about getting the same soon.
In the earlier tenders, which were invited by MSRDC, the construction of terminals and operation of ferry services would have been the responsibility of the bidder. The project thus failed to lift off due to weak response. However, this time around both the tenders has been invited differently and so the response has been positive.
This time around MSRDC has invited tenders to design and build terminals bundled in three packages. In the first package, the bidder has construct terminal facilities at Nariman Point and Juhu. In the second package, the bidder has to construct terminals at Bandra and Versova and in the third package the bidder has to construct terminals at Marve and Borivali.
According to MSRDC officials, the estimated cost for the constriction of the three packages is Rs 262.36 crore, Rs 239.39 crore and Rs 251.69 crore respectively. Apart from this, MSRDC had also invited expressions of interest (EoI) from passenger vessel operators for operating the ferry services along the west coast.
In the month of November 2011, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had announced that MSRDC would be the implementing agency for the water transport on the east coast and west coast of Mumbai and other agencies like MMRDA, CIDCO will fund the project. The project is supposed to be implemented on the cash-contract model.
Once completed, the project will have six terminals located at Nariman Point, Bandra, Juhu, Versova, Marve and Borivali. Catmarans and hovercrafts will be used to cover the 45 km distance between Nariman Point and Borivali.