Sunday, Sep 21, 2014

‘Will clear MSRDC projects only if they submit financial closure plan’

Prithviraj Chavan at T-2 terminal on Friday. (Source: Express photo) Prithviraj Chavan at T-2 terminal on Friday. (Source: Express photo)
Written by Manasi Phadke | Mumbai | Posted: August 16, 2014 12:00 am

While the NCP has been accusing the state government of sitting on projects worth over Rs 10,000 crore, which were proposed by an NCP-led department, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan refuted the charge Friday. He said he was unable to clear the files as some projects did not have financial closure.

He said if the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), an infrastructure development agency headed by an NCP minister, submitted well-planned project proposals with financial closure, his government would swiftly clear them.

“The MSRDC does not have money to execute these projects. There is no financial closure for the passenger water transport project. Where will the money to execute these projects come from? If they bring detailed proposals, we can assess them,” Chavan said.

Constant friction between the Congress and its ally NCP, under whose purview are two critical infrastructure agencies, MMRDA and MSRDC, respectively, has been slowing down the pace of Mumbai’s infrastructure development.

A major chunk of MSRDC’s  development work —  worth over Rs 10,000 crore  —  has been awaiting clearance from the Chavan-led Cabinet sub-committee on infrastructure. This includes projects like the passenger water transport on the city’s eastern and western coasts, capacity addition to the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, a sea link from Worli to Haji Ali and expansion of the Thane creek bridge. All projects, being undertaken on a build-operate-transfer mode, worth over Rs 25 crore, need the sub-committee’s nod.

The MSRDC has proposed to implement several projects by levying additional toll”

“We are facing issues with regard to toll. There is major agitation from public against toll. It is difficult to compute the right kind of toll to be charged. There has to be an accurate and scientific estimation of the exact number of vehicles that will use the road. We have to rethink the entire toll policy,” said Chavan.

NCP’s Jaydatta Kshirsagar, PWD minister (commercial undertakings) and MSRDC chairman, said it was incorrect that the project proposals were without any financial closure”

“For the water transport project, we propose to implement it with financial contribution from the MMRDA and CIDCO. There is no question of non-closure. Also, all our projects don’t involve toll collection. Moreover, the government has stopped giving any funds to the MSRDC. I have given up any hope of the projects being cleared before the state elections,” Kshirsagar said.

manasi.phadke@expressindia.com

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