In a boost to the much-delayed Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL),the citys development authority has nearly finalised a deal with the forest department to utilise land covered under mangroves for the Sewri-Nhava link. This accounts for more than 33 per cent of the total land requirement for the project.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) needs around 125 hectares for the project,which has been talked about for over three decades now. Of the 125 hectares,42 hectares are covered under mangroves.
We have to compensate the forest department by giving them an equal area in return. We will also have to pay for the development of five times the number of mangroves that will be affected by the MTHL, said Metropolitan Commissioner Rahul Asthana.
The MMRDA has identified around 63 hectares of public land at Uran taluk in Raigad district. The authority will acquire that from the Collector and transfer 42 hectares of it to the forest department for the MTHL. The MMRDA plans to use the rest as compensatory land for the forest land to be used for the proposed Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd Metro corridor whenever it is taken up for implementation.
In May,the MMRDA had shortlisted five consortia to submit final bids of the six that had evinced interest in building the MTHL. The consortia are expected to submit detailed designs and financial bids by November,while actual construction is likely to start mid-2013 by when the MMRDA will have to get the complete right of way. Right of way refers to total ownership of land along the entire alignment of the project.
Of the 125 hectares required for the MTHL,115.30 hectares would be required on the mainland. Of this,the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) has agreed to provide the MMRDA 65.03 hectares. The MMRDA will have to acquire 7.66 hectares of private land at Gavan,15.79 hectares at Jasai and 4.35 hectares at Chirle in Uran taluk. Another 10 hectares would be required on the other side of the bridge near Sewri.
We need 22.94 hectares for the casting yard,which we are mostly likely to take from CIDCO over and above the 65 hectares, an MMRDA engineer said. Part of the forest land comes under CIDCO,while part of it comes under the private pieces of land we need to acquire, he added.