After the showpiece Mumbai Trans Harbour Link failed to attract even a single bid on a public-private-partnership (PPP) model last year, another ambitious transport infrastructure project conceived on the same financial model, the Bandra-Versova sea link, has drawn a poor response.
Of the eight companies that had originally evinced interest in the project, only two have submitted their pre-qualification bids to the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC).
S M Ramchandani, joint managing director at MSRDC, said, “The MSRDC is currently scrutinising the two proposals to establish their eligibility to bid for the project. Thereafter, we will give them the Request for Proposal documents (for financial bids).”
Another senior MSRDC official said the two companies to have submitted bids were IRB Infrastructure and Larsen & Toubro. “The response is poor because it’s a PPP project and securing loans from banks for private companies has become difficult these days,” he added.
The MSRDC has proposed to build the 9.3-km Bandra-Versova sea link, expected to cost Rs 5,975 crore, on public-private partnership model and on a ‘design, build, finance, operate and transfer’ basis. It has applied to the Union government for viability gap funding for up to 20 per cent of the project cost.
The sea link, which will be 14.8 kms in length including the various entry and exit ramps, will be a northwards extension to the existing Bandra-Worli sea link. The actual traffic on the Bandra-Worli sea link has been considerably short of what the estimates were, and the toll collection company here has been struggling for a profit.