MTHL still not ready, cost shot up as 2 deadlines missed: RTI

Mumbai: A fortnight before its planned inauguration by the Prime Minister, the prestigious Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) is not yet fully ready, with the work reported to be 98.41 per cent complete, as per an RTI reply released here on Friday.

Additionally, the cost of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)-funded MTHL project has shot up considerably – by Rs 2,192-crore – while the contractors missed two deadlines for project completion.

Mumbai activist Anil Galgali had sought details of the project status from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA). The MTHL is likely to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the second week of January.

The RTI reply to Galgali said that the physical progress was 98.92 per cent for the Packages 1, 2 and 3, and 82 per cent for Package 4, with the average total implementation being 98.41 per cent complete.

Similarly, the project cost has also gone up for each of the packages executed by various private companies, as per the RTI reply to Galgali.

Under Package 1 of Larsen & Toubro Ltd and IHI Infrastructure Systems Co Ltd, the contract price of the consortium was Rs 7,637.30 crore, which has now increased by Rs. 999.67 crore.

Under Package 2 of Daewoo Engineering and Construction Company Ltd and Tata Projects Ltd, the contract price of the JV was Rs 5,612.61 crore, which has now increased by Rs 936.45 crore.

Under Package 3 of Larsen & Toubro Ltd, the contract price was Rs 1,013.79 crore, which has increased by Rs 232.37 crore.

Under Package 4 of Strobag Infrastructure and Safety Solutions GmbH, the contract price of the JV was Rs 449 crore, which has increased by Rs 23.24 crore.

“The original expenditure for the MTHL was Rs 14,712.70 crore, but now it has increased by Rs 2,192.73 crore. Now the new construction cost is Rs 16,904.43 crore, yet the work remains incomplete,” said Galgali.

Moreover, the contractors also missed two deadline extensions on the project slated for completion on September 22, 2022 – the first deadline was extended by 12 months to September 22, 2023, and the second extension lapsed on December 15, 2023.

“The project missed two deadlines, and the work is still incomplete due to the fault of the contractors, which has led to cost escalation. Instead of paying the contractors the increased amounts for their fault, the MMRDA should order a probe into the huge 15-month delay, impose a fine on the contractors and also recover the escalated costs from them,” Galgali demanded.

The much-anticipated showpiece project, MTHL is expected to reduce traffic congestion in Mumbai and on the mainland and provide convenient links on the highways/expressways to Nagpur, Pune, Konkan, Nashik and other directions.



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