The Delhi government is reviewing the project cost of the much-hyped Signature Bridge project on the Wazirabad Barrage.
The cost of the project has grown exponentially over the last several years.
Gammon, the project contractors, may also face the axe.
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, her Cabinet colleagues and officials felt that continuing with the blacklisted firm might taint the project that had already generated controversy over consistent delays and increasing expenses.
“The issue of Gammon did come up as we felt it might not be correct to carry on with them since they have been blacklisted in Delhi after the Metro mishap and outside also for something else. We are thinking of replacing them,” said Dikshit.
A senior official said the government was likely to start discussion with the next bidder— Larsen & Toubro —for taking over the project.
Dikshit had asked the Delhi Tourism and Travel Development Corporation (DTTDC) to make a fresh presentation before the Cabinet explaining why the revised project cost of Rs 887 crore should be passed.
The total project cost is Rs 1195 crore, if the expenditure on approach roads is included. The project was first proposed in 1997.
“This decision was taken in 2004-05. Naturally there would be price escalation. We have already appointed two engineers to look at not just this project, but also others where the escalations are suspiciously high. We don’t do these
calculations, we follow what the engineers tell us,” said Dikshit.
The CM said the government was calibrating all projects where costs have been revised to manage the fund shortage.
The project had attracted much criticism for not just being inordinately delayed, but also unnecessarily expensive.
Delhi Congress chief Jai Prakash Aggarwal, who was the Northeast Delhi MP, had raised objections in a letter to the Prime Minister on the non-completion of the project.
Aggarwal had said four simple bridges would serve the purpose better and could be constructed at one-fourth the price.