Mumbai’s ambitious coastal road project set to take off

October 13, 2016

Coastal roads, like this one in Andheri, reduce traffic congestion in the Island City

Coastal roads, like this one in Andheri, help reduce traffic congestion in the Island City

The Rs 11,000-12,000 crore coastal road, linking south Mumbai and Kandivali in the northern suburbs, will only be partially free for users – from Marine Drive only up till Bandra – after which the rest of the road will be constructed as a sea link on which users will have to pay a toll.
While the south Mumbai stretch up to Bandra will be constructed by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM), the stretch between Bandra and Versova will likely be constructed by the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC).

The cost of the sea link is pegged at Rs 7,500 crore. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, in a meeting, had given instructions for MSRDC to go ahead with constructing the Bandra-Versova sea link, the minutes of which were officially communicated to MSRDC. According to the same, MCGM has been instructed to buy the balance concession period of the Bandra-Worli sea link (constructed by MSRDC) till 2040. As per the cash flows of the Bandra-Worli sea link project, MSRDC has asked MCGM to pay Rs 2,800 crore, based on their book of accounts of the Bandra-Worli sea link. This amount will be the equity of MSRDC towards the project cost of the Bandra-Versova sea link. MSRDC VC and MD, Radheshyam Mopalwar said, “The balance cost of the project will be raised by MSRDC as a loan either by way of vanilla bank loans or as bonds as per our consultants’ advice.”

MCGM sources said they have received a letter from MSRDC to this effect saying that the latter would be constructing the sea link. However, the civic body is not believed to be keen on this alternative as they have already incurred a cost on preparing the detailed project report (DPR) for the entire length of the coastal road, as envisaged earlier.

Mopalwar added that MSRDC already has the coastal authorities’ clearance for constructing a sea-link all the way from Nariman Point to Versova and which is valid till 2018. He also said MSRDC has a tender-ready detailed project report (DPR) for the Bandra-Versova sea link.

Meanwhile, MCGM has Rs 8,000 crore stashed in the bank and expects to garner another Rs 3,000 crore by the end of the year for the project. Sanjay Mukherjee, additional municipal commissioner (Projects), MCGM, said that around Rs 3,000 crore would come from the collections of the proposal to make FSI (floor space index) fungible for the city.

The MCGM charges builders a premium for fungible FSI on all real estate development. “In a sense, we are recovering the cost of construction from prospective users,” Mukherjee explained.

He said MCGM would initially develop the stretch between south Mumbai and Bandra and which has been divided into three packages. A total of 46 companies, foreign and Indian, have responded to the expression of interest (EOI) document floated by it, Mukherjee said. He added that once this was finalized, the request for qualification documents (RFQ) would be floated and subsequently, the shortlisted companies would make it to the request for proposals (RFP) stage.

As per MCGM’s original DPR, the coastal road project was divided into seven parts, three in the south and four in the north with a total of 11 interchanges to help reduce traffic.

The 29.2-km long road was to have a dedicated bus rapid transit system (BRTS) running from south Mumbai to Kandivali, the first of its kind in Mumbai. A provision has also been made in the DPR for a high speed electric train (HSE) track in the middle of the road with a 13-metre wide median that can be used to develop the tracks later if required.

Around 40 hectares of green spaces is to be be created along the road with gardens, parks, jogging and cycling tracks and other civic amenities. Frischmann Prabhu has already been appointed as a consultant and another general consultant too will be roped in.

Share your comments here: