Maharashtra looking at JICA funding for Bandra-Versova sea link

PTI
Published Sep 14, 2014, 6:21 pm IST
Updated Mar 31, 2019, 4:47 am IST
Corporation evaluating pre-qualification bids by IRB Infrastructure and L&T
Bandra Worli sea link (Photo: AP/File)
 Bandra Worli sea link (Photo: AP/File)

Mumbai: State-run road development corporation MSRDC is looking at funding from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the ambitious Rs 5,975-crore Bandra-Versova sea link project.

"The JICA has been funding major infrastructure projects in the country at lower interest rates. To give pace to our ambitious 9.3-km Bandra-Versova sea link project, we will seek funding from this Japanese institution," Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) Joint Managing Director SM Ramchandani said.

 

The Japanese lender has funded key projects like the multi-billion dollar Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) and the upcoming Rs 23,136-crore 32.5 km Colaba-Seepz Metro project in the megapolis, and has also expressed readiness to fund the proposed Mumbai TransHarbour Link (MTHL).

The Bandra-Versova sea link is proposed to be developed on a public private partnership model and will be a tolled project. It will have approaches at Carter Road and Juhu, besides the terminal points at Bandra and Versova.

Ramchandani said if the project gets JICA funding, the concession period for toll collection could also come down to that extent. The corporation has also sought viability gap funding (VGF) from the Centre, which may be up to 20 per cent of the project cost.

 

"If we get financial assistance from the Centre as well as JICA, the concession period for toll collection can come down till that extent. We have written to the Centre in this regard," he said.

The corporation is currently evaluating the pre-qualification bids submitted by two consortia led by IRB Infrastructure and L&T.

"Six players had shown interest but only two submitted their bids. We are scrutinising the bids and if they qualify, only then we will invite financial bids. But if only one of them qualifies at this stage, we will have to do re-bidding to make the process competitive," he said.
If MSRDC gets the VGF and JICA assistance, then it will have to also rework on the criteria for financial bids as the concession period will also come down and the eligible bidder will get the contract, Ramchandani further said.

 

It is estimated that by 2020, the link, which will help skip 14 traffic signals, is likely to be used by around 45,500 vehicles, including cars, light commercial vehicles, buses and trucks. This number is expected to grow to cross 1,20,500 vehicles by 2045.

The first 5.6-km Bandra-Worli sea link, which was built by Hindustan Construction Company (HCC), was thrown open for public in 2009 after 23 years of being under construction.

When asked about the proposed 3.4-km Worli-Haji Ali sea link project, he said, "The project has been stalled as Reliance Infrastructure, which had bagged the contract for constructing the bridge, could not achieve financial closure.

 

"But we can still go ahead with the project as we have already done the ground work on it. But since a final decision had to be taken by the government, there is status quo on the proposal."

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