Peer reviews on project's DPR, and other changes besides fuel and steel price, and international insurance led to the rise from Rs 5k crore
The coastal road's Detailed Project Report was drafted in 2015
The cost of construction of the south phase (9.98 km-long) of the coastal road has shot up to Rs 12,721 crore, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has said. The cost has shot up by 150% from last year's estimation of Rs 5,000 crore. However, the standing committee — the statutory committee that takes financial decisions in the BMC — approved the construction proposal on Tuesday with both the Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party staking claim to the project.
As the project has been in the planning stage for over 10 years, its first Detailed Project Report (DPR) that had a complete environmental impact assessment report, was drafted in 2015. After several peer reviews on the DPR and many changes eventually, the project was not only delayed, but its cost also rose, revealed sources. The fuel and steel price, and international insurance were also some of the reasons why the cost soared to Rs 12,721 crore since last year.
Penalties for delays
The coastal road project needed NOCs from 18 different departments before starting the tender process, and now with the approval from the standing committee, the work on all three stages of the south phase is expected to begin simultaneously next month. The timeline for completion of these three stages is 48 months and the officials have ensured standing committee members that it will be done in a time-bound manner.
Not keeping up with the deadlines will attract penalties. A senior civic official said, "We will levy penalties if contractors miss the deadline even of one stage. For example, if they were supposed to complete reclamation within four months and then it goes beyond the time limit, this will attract penalties. By doing this we want to ensure that the work is completed in 48 months and we are likely to start the construction work after monsoon."
Passed without opposition
While Opposition leaders from outside objected to the cost escalation, NCP and Congress did not put up a fiery stand in the standing committee meeting. But Sena and BJP members were busy staking claim to the project. Ravi Raja, Congress corporator and Opposition leader, questioned the authorities about the cost escalation and asked how they would ensure the work is completed within the contract period. However, the Sena's leader of the House, Vishakha Raut, said it was the Sena's project as they had thought of it and followed it from the beginning. BJP group leader Manoj Kotak said BMC should be thankful to CM Devendra Fadnavis as he helped with all approvals and hence the project was afloat.
BMC commissioner Ajoy Mehta, while addressing standing committee members, said, "There was complete transparency during the process, and all CVC guidelines were adhered to. All the safety measures in the tunnel will be taken care of, as fire-fighting equipment will be installed there. We will give about 90 hectares of green space to the city after this project."
Rs 12,721 crore
Construction cost of the south phase
Length of the south phase which begins at Princess Street Flyover and goes to the Bandra-Worli Sea Link
Construction in stages
The south phase of the 33-km-long coastal road, which begins from Princess Street Flyover (Marine Lines) and goes to the Bandra-Worli Sea Link (south side), will be done in three stages. While L&T is the contractor for the first stage from Priyadarshini Park to Baroda Palace, the second stage from Baroda palace to Bandra-Worli sea link (south end) has been allotted to a joint venture of HCC and Hyundai Development Corporation, whereas the third stage, for a tunnel of 6.8 km under Princess Street flyover to Priyadarshini Park at Napean Sea Road, has been given to L&T. The road includes four interchange (entry, exit) points which extend the construction by 24 km.
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