Work on the Navi Mumbai Airport and Mumbai TransHarbour Link (MTHL) is expected to begin simultaneously so that both the projects are completed around the same time.
Senior state government officials had a meeting with bureaucrats in the central government to discuss the progress of the Rs 11,000-crore MTHL project. Without the 22-km-long MTHL, which will provide shorter road connectivity between south Mumbai and the Navi Mumbai airport, the latter’s potential will remain underutilized.
Chief secretary Swadhin Kshatriya and metropolitan commissioner UPS Madan impressed upon the Union government that carrying out construction of both the mega projects simultaneously was necessary to make them 8financially feasible in the 8longer run.
According to Kshatriya “The Centre has primarily agreed to complete all the formalities required for availing loan from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the MTHL soon within the shortest period of time. We have requested the Centre to compress the time schedule for all formalities so that it can be put on execution mode along with the airport.”
MMRDA will execute the MTHL project on cash contract. Its commissioner UPS Madan said, “The Japanese team has given us favourable indications about funding the MTHL project. Out of the total cost of approximately Rs 11,000 crore, the agency is likely to provide us a loan to the tune of 80%; which is approximately Rs 8,800 crore.” MMRDA hopes to execute the loan agreement with JICA by the end of this year.
Kshatriya said authorities had also cleared the alignment of the Nhava-Sewri link as proposed by the state. Objections were raised on the alignment’s proximity to BARC, which is a high-security zone, and the Sewri mudflats, which are the home to flamingos.