MMRDA looks to World Bank, ADB for trans-harbour project loans

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is in talks with various multilateral agencies, including the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for financing the Rs9,630-crore Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) project.

The MMRDA is the implementing authority of the Rs9,630-crore project connecting Sewri in the northeastern coast of the megapolis and Nhava across the sea, which is to be developed on built-operate-transfer basis.

MMRDA hopes to raise debt up to 80 per cent of total cost of Rs9,600 crore.

MMRDA decided to implement the 22-km trans-harbour project on its own after repeated failed attempts and extension of the deadline for shortlisted consortia to submit bids to 5 July from the earlier 24 May.

The nodal implementation authority failed to get a bidder even after it offered to provide all necessary assistance to mitigate all kinds of risks for the private sector, right from clearances to assuring financial assistance.

MMRDA further extended the deadline to 5 August, after the shortlisted bidders requested for additional time to finalise the bids.

The state government had also sought certain modifications on certain terms and conditions in the model document of the project to address some of the issues faced by the private sector.

The union finance ministry in January this year sanctioned viability gap funding to the tune of Rs1,920 crore for the project. Besides, the empowered committee of the finance ministry had also approved 10 per cent shortfall loan to the MTHL concessionaire.

The MMRDA has earlier received funding from the World Bank for phase I and II of the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP), while the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has agreed to sanction up to Rs13,235 crore in loans for the proposed Colaba-Bandra-Seepz underground Metro corridor.