The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has shortlisted 10 consultants from the 13 firms which responded to the global expression of interest invited by the authorities for the construction of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Memorial.
The planning authority will now send the RFP documents to the shortlisted consultants and expect them to submit the concept design for the memorial for which the Centre has decided to hand over 4.84 hectare of Indu Mill Land near Chaitya Bhoomi, Dadar, to Maharashtra
The evaluation of the expressions of interest by the 13 consultants was arrived at by a Committee of expert architects appointed by MMRDA.
The MMRDA will play a crucial role in preparing detailed estimates, selecting appropriate consultant and construction of the Memorial.
MMRDA will reward the Best Design from among the master plans submitted by the shortlisted consultants with a prize of Rs.1crore.
The shortlisted consultants are M/s.Muralage, M/s. Somaya & Kalappa Consultants, M/s. Jakob+Macfarl-Ane, M/s. VSPB Associates, M/s. Locus, M/s. Jain & Associates, M/s. Shashi Prabhu & Assosciates, M/s. UDP International (Urban Design & Planning Consultants Ltd.), M/s. GMP International Gmbh along with M/s. Astute Engineering services Pvt.Ltd. and M/s. Asymptote Architecture, New York along with M/s. Skyline architects.
Once the consultant is selected, it will be given time to draft a detailed plan for constructing the memorial on a 4.84-hectare plot at India United Mills, popularly known as Indu Mills.
The Maharashtra government had in March 2013, appointed the MMRDA as the special planning authority to develop a memorial for Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar at the Indu Mills plot. The plot, which is off the Arabian sea, is close to Chaityabhoomi, where Ambedkar's ashes are kept. Dalits had been, for long, demanding an Ambedkar memorial at the site.
Welcoming the central governments's move, Republican Party of India (A) chief Ramdas Athawale demanded the state government must initiate the foundation stone laying process by Dec 5, the eve of the 57th death anniversary of Ambedkar.
"If the government fails to take necessary steps, then we shall go ahead with the ceremony Dec 6 (the death anniversary day)," Athawale said.
On its part, the state government is also in a hurry to cash in on the sentiments and initiate the process before the Lok Sabha elections in the first half of 2014, followed by the Maharashtra assembly polls in the second half.