<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With civil construction cost for India’s proposed 22-km sea link connecting Sewri with Nhava Sheva increasing substantially, the toll amount that will be levied on motorists for using the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) is also likely to increase.The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) executing the project had calculated the toll matrix in 2012, but since then there has been constant increase in the civil construction and overall cost of the project, which also means that the burden on motorists in the form of additional toll amount has also gone up.The overall concession period for which the toll will be levied on motorists is of 30 years to make the project financially viable, and the toll amount derived by MMRDA in 2012 was Rs 175 for light motor vehicles, Rs 265 for light commercial vehicles, Rs 525 for buses and trucks and Rs 790 for heavy axle vehicles.However, the construction cost has increased with every year passing. Recently, the MMRDA awarded contract to three consortium’s who are in joint venture constructing the project at Rs 14,263 crore which is more than the estimations of MMRDA.The MMRDA had earlier estimated Rs 12,600 crore for the civil construction out of the total cost of Rs 17,800 crore for the project. However, bidders quoting more resulted in cost escalations.A senior MMRDA official, said, “We do not know the revised toll amount at this stage because we do not what would the actual cost escalation of the project be, when it is ready for motorists in 2023. However, additional toll may have to be levied in order to finish recovery of project cost within 30 years.”The Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is funding almost 85 per cent of the project cost of MTHL. Ever since MTHL was proposed back in 1980’s the project cost has increased more than 350%. In 2005, the cost was estimated at Rs 4,000 crore and the same was estimated to be Rs 17,800 crore in 2016.WHAT IS MTHL?MTHL is a 22-km-long cable stay bridge and will be the second longest sea-link in the world after the 42-km link between Qingdao to Huandao in China. The project has been on paper since the 1980s due to lack of environmental clearances.
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