Maharashtra may split up Shivaji memorial project to lower cost | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Maharashtra may split up Shivaji memorial project to lower cost

The state may float five tenders simultaneously

mumbai Updated: Aug 13, 2017 21:26 IST
Manasi Phadke
An artist’s impression of teh Chhatrapati Shivaji memorial.
An artist’s impression of teh Chhatrapati Shivaji memorial.(HT FILE)

After the first attempt to invite bids for the Chhatrapati Shivaji memorial project increased the estimated cost manifold, the state government is considering splitting the project into four or five contracts.

The state may float around five tenders simultaneously. The government is thinking about one contract for the reclamation of land on the islet where the mid-sea memorial is expected to come up, one for the actual civil construction, a third for the statue, and one for the finishing and landscaping, said Shiv Sangram leader Vinayak Mete, who heads the committee that overlooks the project.

“For the jetty to reach the memorial, we are considering yet another separate contract. We will hold a meeting next week and decide,” said Mete, while adding that chief minister Devendra Fadnavis will take the final call.

Initially, the estimated cost of the 17th century Maratha warrior king’s memorial in the Arabian Sea was Rs3,600 crore and the first phase was expected to cost around Rs2,500 crore. However, in its first attempt to bid out the project, the lowest bidder, Larsen & Toubro, quoted Rs3,826 crore, 53% higher than the state government’s estimate. The state government has been attempting to negotiate with the lowest bidder and has also been considering re-tendering the project to lower the cost.

Mete said, “In an engineering procurement contract, one single bidder will not have the expertise to do all the work and that company will in the end give out sub-contracts for specialised work such as reclamation of land or building the statue. The state is considering dividing the contract and awarding it to specialised companies from its end.”

The mid-sea memorial involves building the world’s tallest statue, surpassing the height of New York’s Statue of Liberty and Sardar Vallabhai Patel’s Statue of Unity in Gujarat. The state plans to build the memorial with a distinctive stamp of the Maratha kingdom’s architecture and will accommodate viewing decks, exhibition halls, museums, restaurants and helipads besides the statue. The project was originally conceived in the 1980s and has been a talking point for all parties in every election ever since.