Bidders told to slash rates for Mantralaya makeover | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Bidders told to slash rates for Mantralaya makeover

The state government will consider issuing fresh tenders for the makeover of Mantralaya if current bidders do not bring down projected costs. Sayli Udas Mankikar reports.

mumbai Updated: Oct 26, 2012 02:04 IST
Sayli Udas Mankikar

The state government will consider issuing fresh tenders for the makeover of Mantralaya if current bidders do not bring down projected costs.

The decision was taken during the meeting of a high-powered committee that took place at Mantralaya on Thursday. The committee, headed by chief secretary Jayant Banthia and formed to oversee the makeover, gave all three bidders in the fray a week's time to resubmit proposals.

The top three floors of Mantralaya were gutted by a fire on June 21, 2012 following which the project to renovate the building was proposed. The fire was allegedly started by a short circuit and travelled from the fourth floor to the top floors, damaging the building and machinery.

The makeover aims to create useful office spaces, central air-conditioning and better fire safety among other things.

While the government had estimated Rs 110 crore as the approximate cost of the project, the costs projected by all three contractors are more than 50% higher than this figure.

While the Shapoorji Pallonji Group is said to have quoted Rs167 crore, Larsen & Toubro has quoted the highest at Rs 177 crore. The third bidder, Unity Infrastructure, is said to have quoted more than Rs160 crore for the project.

"We cannot allow escalations of Rs 50 crore to Rs 60 crore. This is public money. We have asked them to rework their proposals," said Banthia. He added that the agencies had included cost of transportation of over 1,000 workers and police as a part of their estimates.

The government has also asked those bidding for the project to complete it within a period of eight months. "However, according to them fast tracking a project that would normally take two years to complete could not be achieved without a rise in costs," said Banthia. He also added that the government was firm on its deadline and would re-tender if the need be.

Another option that lies before the government was to work on the project in smaller parts such as electrification, plumbing, sewage treatment.