Mumbai: How many lives does it take to create wayside amenities on the big ticket Mumbai-Nagpur Super Communication Expressway or Samruddhi Mahamarg? Close to 100. It is only after a deadly bus accident killed 26 people, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) has woken up from the slumber to create wayside amenities along the project touted as a ‘game changer’ for the state.
Minimum investment of Rs 50 crore
On Tuesday, the MSRDC floated tenders to create passenger amenities by way of land pooling model and the private player requiring a minimum investment of Rs50 crore for each of the amenity locations.
As a knee-jerk reaction, the officials have kept July 18 as the deadline to submit the bids, but the devil is in the details with MSRDC permitting five years for the appointed private company to create the facility.
The bid document, accessed by The Free Press Journal, states that while the company takes 5 years to set up a fully functional wayside amenity, ‘minimum development obligations’ should be met within the next 18 months or one and a half years. Minimum development obligation involves ensuring minimum and necessary facilities to be developed to cater to traffic at least until the year 2035.
Overall, the finalised private operator will have the concession to construct, operate and maintain the amenity for a period of 60 years and extendable up to another term of 39 years, the terms of the extension will be decided at a later stage.
On June 24, The Free Press Journal reported about passenger amenities remaining a distant reality due to iterations being repeatedly made to the wayside amenity proposal.
Instead of the original plan of establishing 16 wayside amenities – eight on each side of the corridor, the MSRDC now has trimmed the proposal down to just four locations – two on either side (Nagpur bound and Mumbai bound).
Each of these will be spread on 10-12 hectares of land. One on each side of the route will come up at Warzadi in Aurangabad district and in Nashik district.
This 701km expressway corridor is 100km short of completion. Back in December 2022, a 520km stretch between Nagpur and Shirdi was made open. In May, another 80km was inaugurated. Now, only 101km stretch between Bharvir and near Thane is left, which is likely to be ready later this year.
26 people killed last week
MSRDC to create wayside amenities along project
Tenders floated on July 4
Project requires Rs50 crore for each location
July 18 is deadline to submit bids