Western Freeway snippets
A Consortium of Reliance Infra and Hyundai Engineering is tipped to bag a contract to connect Bandra-Worli Sealink with Haji Ali at an estimated Rs 1,500 crore. The consortium led by Reliance Infra, an Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG) company, is the only bidder in the fray for this corridor called Western Freeway, which would connect the newly-built Bandra-Worli Sealink to Nariman Point. The four-lane and 3.6-km long Worli-Haji Ali Sealink will be the next leg of almost completed Bandra-Worli Sealink. MSRDC officials said the Bandra-Haji Ali section of the corridor is estimated to cost Rs 3,200 crore, of which Rs 1,640 crore has been spent on Bandra-Worli Sealink. The 5.5-km long Bandra-Worli Sealink has been built by Hindustan Constructions Company for MSRDC. The entire Western Freeway is going to be an eight-lane sea bridge of which four-lane link has been built up between Bandra and Worli. In the next phase, the bidder will add another four lanes to the sealink connecting Worli to Haji Ali. Sources said the next section of Western Freeway is based on a buy-back arrangement between the MSRDC and the bidder. According to this, the successful bidder will have to pay around Rs 1,700 crore upfront to MSRDC as the cost of Bandra-Worli Sealink. The bidder will recover this cost through toll on this section of the corridor to be levied for 30 years. Meanwhile, the Bandra-Worli Sealink is likely to be opened to traffic this month or the first week of July, sources said. The project was conceived by the BJP-Shiv Sena government between 1995 and 2000, but saw monumental delay under the Congress-NCP rule. In fact, the work orders were issued in 2001, but the actual work could start only in 2004.