The sea link project, which is part of the ambitious 39km coastal road being implemented by the BMC, is being executed by the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation at a cost of Rs 9,500 crore.
Viability gap finance is provided to support infrastructure projects that are economically justified, but not financially viable, while fungible FSI is additional construction rights given to builders over and above what is legally permitted to build a building.
The government charges for fungible FSI. The government has proposed that of its 50% share of the premium obtained from the sale of fungible FSI, 20% will be earmarked for the proposed sea link. “The MSRDC is investing Rs 2,000 crore and another Rs 5,000 crore is being raised as a loan for which the interest over five years will amount to Rs 1,500 crore.
Besides, there are other expenses like consulting fees and technology charges,” said R Moppalwar, managing director and chairman MSRDC.
“The government is providing the viability gap funding through the premium raised by sale of fungible FSI. We do not have to repay the government.” Work on the sea link will begin in September, he added.
When pointed out that the Bandra-Worli sea link, built to cater to a traffic of 60,000 vehicles daily caters to only half that number, Moppalwar said that the proposed Bandra-Versova sea link will reach its saturation point after 34 years, which is the concession period for the project.
The proposal has been mooted as part of the excluded plan for Development Plan-2034. The excluded plan are the changes carried out by the government in the draft DP sanctioned by the civic general body.
Since the excluded part changes the character of the DP, the state has invited objections and suggestions for the same till June 23. The premium on FSI was introduced to pay for creation of infrastructure in the civic ward in which it was generated.
Despite the funding from the premium, motorists will have to pay a toll to use the sea link.
“Mumbai must pay for its infrastructure. Government funds are being utilized to develop other parts of the state,” said a government official.
But according to activist Ashok Datar, a trans-city transport project that does not cater to public transport must not be given any subsidy. “The money is being provided by making housing more expensive. How will the government meet its lofty goal of creating affordable housing if it continues to make FSI more expensive?” he asked. The eight-lane coastal road, warned Datar, will lead to congestion on internal roads when cars get off it to enter the city.
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