The contractor received the work order on Jan 2 and the work started from February 9.
Mumbai: Intending to start ground work for Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar’s memorial, Maharashtra government has issued work order for it, though the cost has gone up by Rs 100 crore.
Work order has been issued to Shapoorji Pallonji Company Pvt Ltd and now the final cost of the project would be Rs 763 crore. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has claimed that the work has already started at the site.
After delay of almost 23 months, Dr Ambedkar’s memorial is finally on track, as the work order has been issued. Initial cost of the memorial was Rs 600 crore and bids were invited on April 4, 2017. “The initial cost was for the design and construction. After a pre-bidding meeting on July 12 2017, it was decided to seek advice from the IIT Mumbai, as the metal required for the memorial should be durable in seafront weather,” Mr Fadnavis informed the Assembly in a written reply.
However, the cost went on increasing due to other technical reasons. “The revised cost was Rs 622.40 crore. The bidding date was extended till October 24, 2017. However, we received only one bid from Shapoorji Pallonji Company Pvt Ltd.
After re-tendering also, the same bid was received. The cost further escalated to Rs 709 crore. The final approval of the cost was Rs 763 crore. The contractor has received the work order on January 2 and the work has started from February 9,” the CM said.
BJP MLA Suresh Halvankar, NCP leader Ajit Pawar and others raised the issue. They had asked the government about delay in starting the work of the memorial at Indu Mill land. They even asked as why the cost of the memorial went up.
MMRDA, which is the nodal authority of the memorial, has planned an auditorium, meditation area and a pond. The auditorium will have a seating capacity of around 800 people while the pond will be a replica of Chavdar Tale, the main tank of Mahad where Dr Ambedkar hosted a satyagraha in 1927.
It will also have an assembly hall, museum, library, garden and parking space for visitors.