December 29, 2015 1:38:53 am
Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) is gearing up to start work on a bunch of multi-crore infrastructure projects in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region next year, and is scouting for consultants to prepare detailed feasibility reports for the same.
The corporation on Monday invited bids for four major projects it plans to start construction next year. These include a 4.5-km elevated road on Thane-Ghodbunder Road, six-laning and construction of an elevated road on the 21-km Bhiwandi-Kalyan-Shil Road, four-laning of the Wakan-Pali-Khopoli Road and construction of an additional bridge across the Thane creek on the Sion-Panvel highway.
For the past over two years, MSRDC had become fairly dormant due to coalition politics under the former Congress-NCP government, and a cash crunch.
The corporation, which was set up in 1996 to implement big-ticket transport-infrastructure projects in the state, was relegated to undertaking minor works such as repairs of flyovers and construction of foot over-bridges, awaiting approvals from a chief minister-led committee. The portfolio was then with the NCP and is now controlled by Shiv Sena Minister Eknath Shinde.
Last month, the Devendra Fadnavis-chaired cabinet sub-committee for infrastructure gave an in-principle approval to several of MSRDC’s proposed works in its first meeting under the BJP-led government, allowing the corporation to go ahead with project planning.
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RL Mopalwar, vice chairman and managing director at MSRDC, said, “We plan to start construction of these projects latest by next year. Financially too, the corporation is in a position to implement these projects. Every project has its own financing pattern. Even if there is a book loss, MSRDC has a comfortable cash flow position.”
As per its latest filings, MSRDC had posted a loss of Rs 52.67 crore in fiscal 2012-13 and an indirect cash flow of Rs 657.47 crore.
Of the four projects, the MSRDC will implement the third Thane Creek bridge on a cash contract model. The project was first proposed in 2012, but the corporation was unable to implement it with officials citing paucity of funds and lack of approvals. A senior official from the state public works department said the MSRDC is looking to finance the 1.83-km bridge by its own. For the other three works, the corporation is exploring a Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) model, which will involve toll collection. “The three projects for which the MSRDC is looking at DBFOT implementation method are on already tolled roads, and hence the state government can continue to collect toll here,” a public works department official said.
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