Mumbaikars can now expect some relief from the hassles of daily commuting as the implementation of the much-debated passenger water transport system has finally kicked off.
As a beginning, Laresen & Toubro (L&T), Nagarjuna Construction Company, J Kumar, Simplex, Pratibha Industries, Supreme BBM, JMC and Unity Infrastructure have submitted request for qualification (RFQ) and financial bid to the state-run Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) for the western coast and coast water transport projects. According to the bid, the contractor would construct jetties and related infrastructure for operation of boat services.The western coast project comprising Nariman Point-Juhu, Bandra-Versova and Marve-Norivli entails an investment of Rs 750 crore while Rs 450 crore of investment is proposed for the eastern coast project which includes Pheri Warf-Madva and Pheri Warf-Nerul.
As reported by Business Standard, the government has taken a decision not to implement these projects on build operate transfer (BOT) basis, but on cash on contract basis, wherein the state undertaking would shell out funds and the contractors would complete the construction of jetties.
An MSRDC official, who did not want to be identified, told Business Standard “We will scrutinise both RFQ and the financial bids within 15 days. Thereafter, we will approach our board for its approval for awarding contracts of both the coasts to the successful bidders.” The official informed that the successful bidder is expected to complete the necessary infrastructure within two years and thereafter, MSRDC would appoint the operators on these routes.
According to the official, it would introduce a roll-on, roll-off service to move vehicles from one point to other. The Lousi Berger Group, appointed as the consultants last year, has done a detailed feasibility study. He hoped that the commissioning of these projects would reduce air and noise pollution along the corridors and also lead to fall in traffic congestions on Mumbai’s roads.
MSRDC has revived the project as its earlier attempt to carry out the project on a BOT basis in August 2010 had failed.
MSRDC had awarded a Rs 1,200-crore contract for passenger water transport between Nariman Point and Borivali to Pratibha Industries, but the project could not take off following issues between the concessionaire and MSRDC over various works. Besides, Opposition parties had raised serious objections to the acceptance of a single bid and the capability of the concessionaire.