MUMBAI: Thane creek bridge-3 civil work has been not started even after obtaining all environmental permissions as Mantralaya yet to hand over the 1.4 hectares of the Erangal land for afforestation to the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), which is the nodal agency for the project. The bridge construction work was earlier expected to begin in January 2020.
According to a senior MSRDC official, who did not wish to be named, told the Free Press Journal that until the land is not officially handed over on papers they cannot proceed further. The authority has also written to the state informing that they have obtained permissions from the Bombay High Court for mangrove cutting apart from having permissions from the Navi Mumbai and Brihanmumbai Municipal corporations for cutting of total 333 trees coming in the proposed bridge alignment.
He informed, “Since the identified land for mangrove plantation is in Mumbai, the suburban collector has sent the file for clearance to the state government. The cost of an open plot in Mumbai is expensive. While such is not the case outside Mumbai, the collector usually handover the plot directly to the MSRDC.”
The MSRDC has identified Erangal land for plantation of mangrove. A total of 430 mangroves will be cut for the bridge work. The proposed TCB-3 will provide six more lanes to the existing TCB-2. The new creek bridge once ready is expected to improve the connectivity between Navi Mumbai and Mumbai, avoiding the bottleneck at the existing three-lane Thane creek bridge -2, since the existing two bridges were built in 1973 and 1997.
For the Thane Creek bridge-3, the MSRDC has finished the tendering process and has appointed Larsen & Toubro Limited (L&T ) for undertaking the civil work at cost of Rs 775.58 crore in 2017. The selected company has a letter of acceptance and once the land is officially in possession of the MSRDC then it will seek the permission from the environment department to carry out the work in the restricted forest area, said the official.
When questioned about project cost escalation as the work has not been started even after two years, the official explained, “The possibility is less as no work has been started. Moreover, as per policy, five per cent of the increased project cost can be considered. If the selected company increases the estimated cost more than that then the quoted budget then the deal has to be scrapped for any project. They may lose the work so no one does that.”