After a grand ceremony where the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government launched the foundation stone for the mid-sea Chhatrapati Shivaji memorial, some of India’s largest infrastructure companies have queued up and evinced initial interest in implementing the project.
Thirteen companies attended the pre-bid meeting for the Rs3,600-crore Chhatrapati Shivaji memorial, proposed to be built in the Arabian Sea, off Marine Drive. These include firms such as Larsen & Toubro (L&T), Afcons Infrastructure, Tata Projects, Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) and Navayuga Engineering, officials in the state public works department said.
“We have extended the last date for bid submission to February 14 as the companies interested wanted more time to prepare their bid submissions. Many of these companies have also hinted at tying up with global firms based in European countries such as France, UK and so on, to bring outside expertise to the project,” a senior official from the state public works department said.
A pre-bid meeting is held to gauge initial interest in a particular project where firms clarify any doubts that they may have with the government and then decide whether to put in a tender.
L&T’s portfolio includes India’s first monorail, Metro projects in India, airports, mass housing schemes, as well as the contract for the Statue of Unity, a 182-metre Sardar Vallabhai Patel statue in Gujarat. HCC has worked on projects such as the Bandra-Worli sea link in Mumbai, executed tunneling works in the Himalayan region, constructed India’s longest rail tunnel, the Pir Panjal tunnel in J&K, and a portion of the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. Afcons has a list of completed projects in marine engineering such as jetties, dry docks and wharves at places such as Gujarat, Kochi, Nagapattinam, Oman, Jordon, Madagascar and so on. Like Afcons, Navayuga Engineering also has specialized experience in marine structures such as cargo berths, container berths and jetties.
A senior official from a company that attended the pre-bid meeting said, “The completed structure will definitely be first-of-its-kind in the country, but if we look at it as a structural element, it is something very similar to working on water and height. Several Indian companies have ample experience in this. It is only for the metallurgy bit — the metal covering of the memorial that will have to withstand all kinds of weather conditions for 100-200 years — that Indian companies may to consider getting the work done in foreign foundries.”
The mid-sea Chhatrapati Shivaji memorial involves building the world’s tallest statue, surpassing the height of New York’s Statue of Liberty and the Statue of Unity in Gujarat. The entire memorial will be 210m tall, close to a 12-storey structure, built entirely on an islet of 15.96 hectare. Prime Minister Narendra Modi conducted a bhoomipujan for the ambitious project in December, in the run up to Mumbai’s civic polls. The state government has invited tenders for the first phase of the memorial’s construction, estimated to cost Rs2,500 crore.