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Land row between state,Mumbai Port Trust may delay Trans-Harbour link

While the state government’s ambitious project to link Central Mumbai with the hinterland — the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link— is still in the bidding stages...

Written by Swapnil Rawal | Mumbai |
January 8, 2009 1:18:32 am

While the state government’s ambitious project to link Central Mumbai with the hinterland — the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link— is still in the bidding stages,the land row between the state government and the Mumbai Port Trust for casting yard would further delay this non-starter project.

After rejecting the state government’s request for a 5-hectare plot of land proposed to serve as a casting yard at the Sewri-end of the planned 22.5 km bridge,the Mumbai Port Trust had offered another plot of land to the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC). But it was turned down citing a feasibility issue.

Rahul Asthana,chairman of MbPT,has said that the port trust would not part with the plot earmarked for its container freight station — as part of the offshore container terminal project — for a period of three years from 2009. “We offered to give another plot — a petroleum godown — which is around three hectare on the MbPT premises. The MSRDC has declined and have requested for another plot. According to MSRDC,the plot was not feasible due to its small size,” Asthana said.

“The MbPT has already given 2.9 hectares of land near an abandoned kerosene wharf,which will be used for launching pre-cast beams for a construction site in the sea at the Sewri end. But MSRDC needs another 5-hectare plot of land as long girders have to be cast. This requires a large plot,” said T C Benjamin,principal secretary,Urban Development Department. Benjamin also said that since the MSRDC would need the land only for three years — from 2009 to 2011— and the MbPT was to start its work on the container terminal 2012 onwards,the MbPT should not mind giving the 5-hectare plot.

The project still needed around 70 hectares for the pre-cast component and the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) had handed over 50 hectares at the Nhava end. To reduce the cost of construction and get the logistics in place for the ambitious project,the state needs around five hectares of land at the Sewri end.

Meanwhile,the officials are worried since the land row could delay the project. “The issue of the plot needs to be resolved before the bids are in by February end,” an official said on condition of anonymity.

The 22.5 km sea link is proposed to begin from Messant Road on eastern side of the Sewri Railway Station on Harbour Line and traverse through the creek waters to meet the mainland near Shivaji Nagar and terminate at National Highway 4B at Chirle in Navi Mumbai.

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