MMRDA misses Fadnavis’ deadline for MTHL tenders

The work on the 22-km long Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) could get delayed further as the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has missed its deadline set by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to float civil works for the project.

In January, Mr Fadnavis had said that MMRDA has all the necessary clearances for the project. Once the notification on it is out, the government would formally complete all the talks with JICA related to the financing of the project and also begin the process of tenders by the end of March. That, however, does not seem possible at the moment as the project is yet to be approved by the Japanese government for JICA to fund the project.

Commenting on the matter, a senior MMRDA official said, “We were expecting to complete all the formalities with the JICA officials and sign the financial closure agreement around March 10. But that could not happen and it caused the delay in floating tenders for the project.”

He further added, “We are expecting to complete all the formalities related to the work within this year so that the work on the project could start before the end of financial year of 2016-17.”

The project pegged at Rs 17,500 crore recently got a boost as the MMRDA allocated Rs 1,000 crore for the project in its financial budget for 2016-17. However, the project is yet to be inked with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which is going to fund 80 per cent of the total amount of the project.

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