MSRDC offers Bandra-Worli sealink toll rights for 19 years
BL Soni

The MSRDC (Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation) for the first time is offering tolling rights of the Bandra-Worli Sealink (BWSL) for 19 years. It has floated a tender for the appointment of sub concessionaire for tolling, operating, maintenance and transfer of the toll plaza at Rajiv Gandhi Sea Link Bridge, popularly called as BWSL for the period starting October 22, 2020 till March 31, 2039.

The MSRDC has estimated that the value generated through selling the tolling rights at an upfront cost of Rs 2,895 crore. Meaning, whichever agency quotes the highest price above the estimated value, that agency will be appointed for 19 years. While the agency can pay the upfront money in three installments, said the official from MSRDC, who did not wish to be named. He further stated, "Due to COVID the tender process has been postponed until October, while the previous contractor tenure has already expired on January 30, 2020. Now the same contractor 'MEP Infrastructure' is carrying out the toll collection work and is giving the day to day collected amount to the MSRDC."

Meanwhile, the MSRDC is also looking for an appointment of temporary agency for the operation, maintenance and toll collection of BWSL for a period of three months or till appointment of new agency. The deadline for submission of quotation for this is August 13.

The Free Press Journal in February 2020 had reported about MSRDC plan to sell BWSL tolling rights for longer period. Back then, the 19 yrs tenure was starting from July 3, 2020 instead of October 22.

Interestingly, the MSRDC for the BWSL toll collection has never appointed any agency for more than three years ever before. While now on the lines of Mumbai Pune Expressway, it has decided to generate money from BWSL tolling rights also. The official said, "We are carrying out big budget projects-- Samruddhi Mahamarg, Mumbai-Pune missing link, Versova-Bandra Sealink, Thane Creek bridge, etc. To raise funds for these projects the tolling rights are being proposed to be sold out for longer period to get lumpsum money."

The MSRDC makes Rs 12 crore monthly through toll collection on the BWSL. MEP Infrastructure has been collecting toll for the 5.6-km Sea Link and maintaining it since 2009. According to the government, MSRDC can collect toll until 2039 on BWSL. While from the Versova Bandra Sea Link, once ready, the toll collection can be done uptill 2052.

A bank guarantee of Rs 30 crore will be taken from the selected agency.

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