The controversy between the Municipal Corporation of Delhi and the contractor entrusted with the task of constructing a modern slaughter house at Ghazipur in East Delhi over the total cost of the project is refusing to die down.
After a Supreme Court-appointed firm fixed the total cost at about 114 crore for state-of-the-art abattoir with a capacity of 4,500 goat/sheet and 500 buffalo per day, the contractor on Thursday said it was not possible to execute the contract at this cost.
The contractor talked of the rise in prices of cement and other raw materials since it undertook the work.
The counsel for the contractor, M/s Food Processing Equipment Company Pvt Ltd, told a Bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhan that the company was not given any hearing by the IL&FS Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited, which worked out the final cost on the orders of the court.
Giving liberty to the contractor to approach the firm for a personal hearing, it said the IL&FS would decide the objections raised by the contractor or the MCD in two weeks and fixed March 8 for further hearing.
Interestingly, the court had made it clear to the contractor and the MCD that the final cost worked out by IL&FS Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited would be final and binding on them.
The IL&FS Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited is supposed to have calculated the final cost of the project taking into consideration the escalation in prices of raw material, additional machinery and new taxes that have come into effect.
As the MCD and the contractor kept finding fault with each other, the June 30, 2006 deadline fixed by the court for the completion of the project expired.
MCD counsel Sanjiv Sen submitted that a timeframe be laid down for the completion of the project. The court said that once the project cost was finalised, it would do so.
Sen further submitted that more funds were required for the project from various agencies and more land from NOIDA Authority for construction of a new building since the capacity of the proposed slaughter house has been increased up to 5,000 animals a day.
The court gave liberty to the MCD to file an appropriate application in this regard.
The MCD has already paid a sum of Rs 98 crore to the contractor.
The court asked the contractor to continue the work.
The initial cost of the project was estimated to be Rs 65 crore with a capacity of 2,500 animals a day but it was revised after the capacity was sought to be doubled.
While the contractor is demanding over Rs 150 crore for completion of the work, the MCD says the cost would not exceed Rs 106 crore. The contractor claimed it would lose an amount of Rs 43.51 crore if it accepted the rates offered by the MCD.
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