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  Metros   Mumbai  25 Sep 2019  Opposition alleges corruption in Shiv Smarak project

Opposition alleges corruption in Shiv Smarak project

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Sep 25, 2019, 3:21 am IST
Updated : Sep 25, 2019, 3:21 am IST

They said that tenders for the project were issued in 2017, for which L&T submitted a bid of Rs 3,826 crore.

Congress spokesman Sachin Sawant
 Congress spokesman Sachin Sawant

Mumbai: The Opposition parties – Congress and NCP – have alleged corruption in the Shiv Smarak project, citing irregularities in the tendering process. Congress spokesman Sachin Sawant and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) spokesman Nawab Malik said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, which boasted a clean image, shamelessly indulged in corruption in the Shiv Smarak project.

They said that tenders for the project were issued in 2017, for which L&T submitted a bid of `3,826 crore. As per the tender documents, the height of the memorial was to be 121.2 metres, with the statue being 83.2 metres tall and the sword being 37 metres tall.

The state government brought down the project cost to `2,500 crore by negotiating with L&T, which was in violation of the guidelines set by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC).

To reduce the cost of the project, the overall height of the memorial was kept the same at 121.2 metres, but the height of the statue was reduced to 75.7 metres and the height of the sword was increased to 45.5 metres. Even the reclaimed area was reduced from 15.6 hectares to 12.8 hectares, of which only 6.8 hectares was to be used in the first phase of development of the Shiv Smarak. The technical feasibility issues were completely ignored, said Mr Sawant.

Negotiation of the tendered rate was prohibited by the CVC. However, a drastic cost reduction in contract was carried out via negotiation from `3,800 crore to `2,500 crore which was in violation of the Central Vigilance Commission guidelines.

Cost reduction through negotiation was likely to result in sub-standard work and any reduction in the scope of work was likely to impact the project adversely, the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party spokesmen said.

However, reacting to the allegations, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis tweeted that Maharashtra knew well who was playing politics in the name of the Shiv Smarak and who was striving hard to make it happen.

Tags: sachin sawant, nawab malik