Delayed Trans Harbour Link project to get a push

Mumbai: The long-pending Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link (MTHL) project may get a push from the Maharashtra government soon, with the clearance of the proposed Navi Mumbai airport.

“We are keen to revive the trans-harbour project by pushing it before the newly-formed state government and I would soon talk to the chief minister on the issue,” public works minister Jaydutta Kshirsagar told the Press Trust of India.

The trans-harbour link, to connect Mumbai with Navi Mumbai, from Sewri to Nhava Sheva by a sealink across the 22 km stretch, was proposed over a decade ago. While the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) was the planning authority for the project in 2004, a couple of years later it was given to the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA). MSRDC was again made the executing authority in 2008 when the work was put up for bids.

The matter reached the Supreme Court following a dispute between the Ambani brothers whose companies had bid for the project. However, Anil Ambani’s company seemed to lose interest after a while. The state government suggested that MMRDA would provide the economic support for the work, which it was estimated would cost over Rs6,000 crore. But it did not specify who would undertake the work.

“The MMRDA is already having development projects of Rs2 lakh crore and therefore I think the work has to be given to MSRDC which is also a government agency,” Mr Kshirsagar said. Earlier, MSRDC had suggested a build-operate-transfter model to be funded by the Centre, the minister said.

He explained that a feasibility report was positive about the project and it was clear that it is required to be undertaken urgently. The minister said that MSRDC had taken the necessary environment permissions to for the project.

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