Mah Govt to build Nhava Sheva-Sewri sea link bridge on its own

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Mumbai, Jun 25 (UNI) The State Cabinet sub-committee has scrapped a tender submitted by consortium of Anil Ambani-led Reliance Energy for construction of the trans-harbour Nhava Sheva-Sewri sea link project, and the Maharashtra government has decided to build the Rs 6,000 crore ambitious project of six lanes, linking South Mumbai to Navi Mumbai, on its own.

State PWD Minister Anil Deshmukh today said the decision to this effect had to be taken due to the ''feud'' between the two Ambani brothers -- Mukesh and Anil, who had submitted their tenders for the same bridge, but Anil's bid was the lowest. The matter had earlier reached the Supreme Court also.

He said the decision to scrap the bid and construct the project by the government itself was taken, as a new bid process would have created the same problems.

Mr Deshmukh said in order to construct the bridge, a special purpose vehicle would be formed, with Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) at the helm of affairs. Other organisations like Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA), MIDC and CIDCO will also invest in the same.

He said the MSRDC has already started work from today. The proposal will be discussed with the finance ministry and a proposal to this effect will be tabled before the Cabinet within a fortnight's time.

It may be recalled that REL in its tender had submitted that it would collect the toll for nine years, 11 months and one day, while Mukesh Ambani-promoted Infrastructure Lease and Financial Services (IL&FS) had sought 75 years time to collect the toll.

The PWD Minister said MSRDC has estimated 44 years as a time to collect the toll for the recovery of the entire cost.

UNI XR/JM SSS SV AS1752

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