Fisherfolk whose livelihood are impacted by the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) will receive a one-time compensation fee of Rs 5,68,000 per family. This is the amount decided on by the Mumbai Metropolitan Development Authority (MMRDA) for families affected by the project which is being set up at a cost of Rs 17,750 crore. Sanjay Khandare, Additional Metropolitan Commissioner (MMRDA), confirmed to FE the compensation had been approved and that the Fisheries Board had been intimated. “We have identified those affected and arrived at the compensation figure based on a formula the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) had used some time back to compensate fishermen for one of their projects,” Khandare added. The current legal framework provides for compensation to PAPs (persons affected by a project) or those displaced by infrastructure projects.
However, with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)—the financier for the project—asking that fisherfolk be taken care of, MMRDA has agreed, Khandare clarified. MMRDA has received over 3,000 claims for compensation and will shortly start sifting through the applications to identify the genuine claimants. The Social Impact Assessment report shows artisanal shoreline fishing in the project area is conducted mainly by fisher-folk from nine identified villages. These are Mahul, Trombay, Uran Koliwada, Belpada Koliwada, Hanuman Koliwada, Gavhan Koliwada, Belapur, Sarsole and Diwale.
The showpiece project, delayed by almost a decade now, received 31 bids from players including Larsen & Toubro and China-based China Railway Construction Bridge Engineering Bureau Group. The project has been divided into three components and thirty-one companies have been shortlisted so far. The MTHL, estimated to cost Rs 17,750-crore will cover a length of 22 km over the Thane creek to become the country’s longest sea bridge. Of the 22 km stretch, 16.5 km will be over the sea.
The project has already received the requisite forest clearances. The state forest department had given the project the final environment clearance in May while earlier this year, the project also received stage one clearance from the Union Environment Ministry. Khandare told FE the stage two clearance has also come through. However, the land, at both ends of the sea-bridge has some buildings and structures belonging to the Bombay Port Trust (BPT) and to the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO). MMRDA expects the approval for the right of way (ROW) at both ends by October from both BPT and CIDCO.