The first phase of the ambitious Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) is targeted for completion by 2019, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced in the state assembly recently. This apart, other iconic projects like the Mumbai Coastal Road, Navi Mumbai International and two new lines of the Mumbai metro rail project, are also targeted for completion by the same time.

The MTHL project will be handed over to contractors by October or November this year, it is learnt. During 2016, much progress was recorded on the project that inspires one to believe that the said deadline may be tenable. A crucial milestone was crossed when environmental clearance for the 22.5-km sea link was received in February this year. Implementing agency Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority has also initiated the process of selecting general consultants and project management consultants. The initial survey for the project would include geotechnical investigations for laying subsea foundations. Another important achievement was the approval from Japanese Cooperation Agency (JICA) to fund 80 per cent of the total project cost of Rs.17,500 crore. The remaining 20 per cent will come from the Central and state governments.

The Mumbai Trans Harbour Link is a proposed 22-km sea link connecting Sewree in Mumbai to Sheva in Navi Mumbai. It was first proposed in the 1980s but the first signs of work were visible only around 2004. The project was initially structured to come up on PPP basis and tenders were floated on at least three occasions with little success. In around 2014, the PPP modality was scrapped and the project was designed to come up on EPC basis.

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