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Decision on Mumbai sea link in 2 weeks

By Makarand Gadgil in Mumbai
June 02, 2008 09:38 IST
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The Maharashtra government will take a final decision on the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG)-led consortium's bid for the Rs 6,000 crore (Rs 60 billion), six-lane sea link between Sewri and Nhava Sheva, better known as the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL), within two weeks, said Public Works Minister Anil Deshmukh.

The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), which is a nodal agency for the project, is considering the option of asking the consortium of Reliance Energy and Hyundai to pay a surety of Rs 5,000 crore (Rs 50 billion), almost 85 per cent of the project cost.

Deshmukh was speaking to Business Standard on the sidelines of a press conference to announce the construction of 50 skywalks (or elevated pathways) in Mumbai by the MSRDC.

The state government is reconsidering the consortium's bid on grounds that it had quoted a concession period (the period for which the consortium will collect the toll) that was too low and unrealistic.

The consortium had quoted a concession period of nine years 11 months and was declared the preferred bidder by the state government in February.

If the state government opts for re-bidding, the Reliance Energy Ltd consortium has the option to go to court, since the bid document doesn't specify any minimum period nor stipulate that the bidder has to ask for a concession period above the minimum concession period, said sources close to development.

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Makarand Gadgil in Mumbai
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