» Business » Talks on to end Bandra-Worli link plan impasse

Talks on to end Bandra-Worli link plan impasse

By Renni Abraham in Mumbai
January 27, 2004 13:12 IST
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The Maharashtra government is seeking to cap the escalation cost on the Bandra-Worli sea link project at Rs 120 crore (Rs 1.20 billion).

Hindustan Construction Corporation, which holds the construction mandate for the project, had sought around Rs 265 crore (Rs 2.65 billion) more from the Maharasthra State Road Development Corporation, the implementing agency of the state, for the additional sea-bridge incorporated into the project.

A state government official said: "Following the opposition to the original connection point at Worli by local residents (fisher folk) and environmentalists, an additional 1.6 km of sea-bridge was incorporated into the project."

"After factoring in this as well as escalations due to time lapse, we strongly feel that HCC should not be charging us in excess of Rs 120 crore for the additional sea-link component. We will convince the HCC to agree to a reasonable escalation cost. If we fail to reach an agreement, we might scrap their bid and invite fresh ones," he said.

The Rs 410 crore (Rs 4.10 billion) Bandra-Worli sealink of the western freeway, which will connect the island city with its suburbs, ran into rough weather over the Rs 300 crore (Rs 3 billion) cost escalation charge sought by HCC.

So far the MSRDC has declined to clear the funds and construction work is believed to be restricted to work near the Bandra reclamation bay.

A senior MSRDC official said: "The state government has taken up the matter and will take suitable steps to resolve the issue. The sea-link component had been contracted out to HCC and it had sought an additional Rs 300 crore, citing cost escalations. However, our attempts are to arrive at an agreeable price. We hope the state government can arrive at a reasonable price that is agreeable to both."

The design of the cable-stayed bridges provides for a 500 m main span with a single support tower, and a 150 m span conventional twin tower cable-stayed bridge spanning the Bandra and Worli creeks, respectively.

The project commences from the interchange at Mahim intersection (intersection of Western Express Highway and S V Road at the Bandra end) and ends at Worli Dairy with an overall length of 5.6 km for the entire project.

A cloverleaf interchange at Mahim intersection and a flyover at Love Grove intersection are also parts of the Sea Link Project with the object of enhancing faster and safer traffic disposal.

The entire project was originally conceived as one large project with different components combined together. But in order to accelerate the overall construction schedule, the project was divided into four construction packages.

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