MSRDC to securitise toll collections on Bandra-Worli sea link

3-year securitisation period to raise Rs 238 crore

The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) has decided to securitise toll collection on the landmark Bandra-Worli Sea Link for three years to raise Rs 238 crore upfront for the cash-strapped state-owned undertaking.

The MSRDC, which comes under the ambit of the Public Works Department (public undertakings), a portfolio held by Congress ally NCP's Jaydatta Kshirsagar, has called for bids to manage toll plazas for the 12-lane roads, sea links, creek bridges and river bridges. The selected company will make yearly upfront payments to the MSRDC and manage toll collection besides operation and maintenance of the sea link. The Bandra-Worli Sea Link was opened to traffic in 2009.

Till now, the contract to collect toll was with the Mumbai Entry Point Limited, owned by Jayant Mhaiskar, the brother of Virendra Mhaiskar, chairman and managing director, IRB Infrastructure.

"We were waiting for the state government to approve the Worli-Haji Ali sea link project before going ahead with the securitisation, but the approval has still not come. We could not wait any longer and hence decided to securitise the sea link for a shorter period of time," said a senior MSRDC official who did not wish to be named.

The MSRDC had earlier planned to have a longer securitisation period that could have helped the state agency raise a larger quantum of funds. It had decided to use this payment for the construction of the next arm, the controversial Worli-Haji Ali Sea link, on a cash contract basis.

Earlier this year, the MSRDC had approached the state government to formally kill the contract to build the Worli-Haji Ali Sea Link with Reliance Infrastructure on a public-private-partnership model. The project was a non-starter as there were several issues related to the payment of viability gap funding, location of the casting yard and other formalities.

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