MTHL ‘connector’ project stuck,too

The MMRDA had earlier hoped to begin construction by mid-2013 on a cash contract basis.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Published: October 6, 2013 2:17 am

Even AS the Sewri-Nhava Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link (MTHL) was sidetracked owing to lack of bids,the construction of one of its connectors — an elevated road from Worli to Sewri that is touted to benefit the city even as a standalone project — has also been delayed.

The MMRDA had earlier hoped to begin construction by mid-2013 on a cash contract basis. However,the work is now likely to start only next year as the development authority has had to extend the last date for submission of bids seven times so far to keep potential bidders interested in the project.

U P S Madan,metropolitan commissioner,MMRDA,said,“The project is quite complex,as it crosses railway lines and there are some project-affected people who need to be shifted. The bidders had concerns about the matter. So,instead of rushing the whole thing and not having enough competition for the project,we decided to give them some time to prepare their bids.”

The construction of the 4.5-km elevated road will require the rehabilitation of about 800 families along the alignment of the road. The corridor will begin at Narayan Hardikar Marg in Worli and end near the Sewri railway station. At a later date,the MMRDA will provide connectivity from the elevated road directly to the Eastern Freeway. The road will have to secure permission from the Central railway and Western Railway to construct near railway lines at Sewri and Elphinstone,respectively.

The MMRDA had originally invited tenders for the construction of the Rs 490.7-crore elevated road from Worli to Sewri in April,specifying the last date for the submission of bids for the project as May 17. Thereafter,the development authority repeatedly extended the last date for the submission of bids seven times,the latest being October 18.

An MMRDA official said,“We had earlier hoped to start construction by mid-2013. Bidders also had technical queries about the project. However,now it seems that October 18 will mostly be the final date of submission of bids. So,we will try to start the construction early next year,hopefully by January or February.” The road will take four years to be constructed once work starts.

Earlier this year,the Sewri-Nhava MTHL failed to draw any bids—its third failed round of tendering–to be implemented as a public private partnership. The MMRDA is now looking to construct the country’s longest sea-link as a cash contract and is in talks for funding with Japan International Cooperation Agency.

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