The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has shown keen interest to finance building of trans-harbour link between Mumbai and Navi Mumbai. The loan agreement is likely to be signed by the end of the year. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis confirmed this expressing his happiness in his tweet.
After a meeting with Consul-General of Japan Yoshiaki Ito, JICA Director Kotaro Tanaka and Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) Director General Takehiko Furukawa, Fadnavis tweeted, “Glad that JICA showed keen interest in building Trans Harbour Link between Mumbai and Navi Mumbai…through technical and financial support through a long-term low-cost loan in a very short time span.”
Along with CM Fadnavis, top state officials and the office-bearers of JICA, an independent Japanese governmental agency, held a meeting to discuss the Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link Project (MTHL) connecting Sewri with Nhava in Navi Mumbai.
The JICA team will meet the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) officials soon to discuss finer details of the project, i.e. implementation schedule, design, engineering aspect and so on. An official in MMRDA confirmed that the loan agreement with JICA could be signed by the end of this year.
The proposed 22-km freeway, which will connect Mumbai with Navi Mumbai across the Thane creek, is estimated to cost Rs 11,000 crore in all. 80 per cent of the project cost is likely to be provided by the JICA as loan, while the remaining 20 per cent will be borne by the Maharashtra Government. Notably, the JICA team had begun the social and environment impact assessment studies for the project a month ago and the reports will be drafted soon.
The State Government made several attempts to connect Mumbai and Navi Mumbai through the sea in the past, but to no avail. Not only this, the MMRDA also tried to implement the project on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) basis, but did not get any favourable response. Finally, it changed the finance model for the project.