Two years after the contract to construct a state-of-the-art promenade near the approach road of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link was awarded, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) has finally decided to pull up the contractor for delays in completion of the 1.5-km stretch.
The project was awarded to a leading city-based developer in December 2010, and should have been completed in April last year. With the project making no progress, MSRDC officials recently fined the contractor Rs 33 lakh and have warned them to finish the work by April-end, or else pay another hefty fine.
“The contractor who was awarded the project should have completed the project long ago, but due to some reasons they failed. Because of the delay, we decided to ask the contractor for a compensation of Rs 33 lakh. We have also asked him to complete the work by April-end or else we will ask for more compensation.”
Up to 40-metres wide and 1.25-km long, the promenade would have a walking and bike path and the developer is entrusted with maintaining it for the next 15 years. Every year the developer is expected to pay Rs 99 lakh to the MSRDC and in return, the contractor gets advertising rights for plaques installed along the promenade. The only reason the developer had agreed to take the project is because of the profits to be earned by selling advertising space at the 62 plaques to be installed at the promenade.
Realising that the pace of work had slowed down, the MSRDC in the past had even sent several reminders to the contractor. “Few days ago, we sent a letter to the contractor and asked him to finish the work at the earliest. The contractor approached us and has assured that he would complete the work by April-end,” said the official.
According to plans, the total cost of the Bandra Reclamation promenade is estimated at Rs 7.8 crore. The project includes a 22-metre high viewing tower called ‘Sheesh Mahal’ that will be glass encased. This structure would be at the entrance of the promenade. The 40-metre wide promenade will depict the seven eras of Mumbai’s history, starting from the Ashoka- to post-Independent period.