With the state government yet to announce which of the two — the Bandra-Versova Sea Link or the coastal road from Princess Street to Kandivali — should be built, the sponsors of both projects have started the work on their respective ventures.
The northern phase of the coastal road — from Bandra till Kandivali — if built, would overlap with the Bandra-Versova sea link.
The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) has started accepting bids for the construction of the sea link while the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) has applied for environment clearances for the coastal road.
MCGM has estimated the project cost—for both the southern and northern phases —at Rs 12,000 crore.
Radheshyam Mopalwar, MSRDC VC & MD said the state government had instructed the corporation to construct the Bandra Versova sea link at an estimated cost of Rs 7,500 crore.
The BMC believes the stretch–between Bandra and Versova– is part of the Mumbai coastal road, starting from Princess Street in south Mumbai till Kandivali in the western suburbs. “We are going ahead with the entire stretch of 30 km for the coastal road,” Sanjay Mukherjee, additional commissioner (projects) MCGM told Fe.
Representatives of the state government declined to comment on the situation saying a decision would be taken at the highest level.
While MSRDC claims it has the environmental clearances for the project, MCGM told FE it has applied for environmental clearances for both phases of the project to the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA).
While MCGM has been asked by the state government to buy out the remaining concession period of 24 years the Bandra-Worli sea link from MSRDC at Rs 2,800 crore, this transaction is yet to take place. Should MCGM not buy it, MSRDC will explore other options to raise funds; it is reportedly in talks with a Canadian pension fund to sell the concession period.
Earlier, MCGM had floated documents for expression of interest (EOI) for the southern stretch of the project for which it has received responses from 46 companies, both foreign and Indian.
The civic body also recently began a geo-technical investigation for the south phase of the project (9.98 km) and is creating 166 bore holes for the purpose. In the meanwhile, MCGM sources said a detailed project report (DPR) for the coastal road has been prepared.