Worli-Haji Ali Sea-Link work may not start as per schedule

Mumbai, July 01: The commencement of work on the ambitious Worli-Haji Ali Sea Link here is likely to miss its July deadline as Reliance Infrastructure (RInfra) has refused to start construction unless the state government fulfills certain pre-requisites.

The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), which is implementing the project, has fixed July 3 for RInfra-consortium to achieve financial closure, soon after which the company would have to start the work. However, RInfra, which will be executing the Rs 4000-crore project, has laid down certain conditions which it wants the state government to fulfil first. “We have fixed July 3 for RInfra to achieve financial closure for the project. Once this is in place, we expect the company to start work by the second week of the month.

The company will have to complete the project in 42 months as per the agreement,” MSRDC Vice-Chairman and Managing Director Bipin Srimali told reporters here today. Anil Ambani-led Reliance Infrastructure was awarded the Rs 4,000 crore contract to construct the second phase of the sea link from Worli to Haji Ali on BOT basis. During the closure, RInfra is supposed to make an upfront payment of Rs 1,634 crore to buy out the operations and maintenance rights to the Bandra Worli Sea Link (BWSL) for 40 years, which can help the MSRDC settle the viability gap funding (VGF) for the next arm of the sea link.