The Brihanmumbai Storm Water Drains project (BRIMSTOWAD) will now cost Rs 2,200 crore.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has requested the Centre to release more funds for the project. “We wrote to the Centre three months ago for assistance because the cost of the project has escalated, but they have not replied to our request,” said Chandrakant Watve, chief engineer, storm water drains.
The Centre has sanctioned Rs 1,000 crore so far and the next grant is expected this year.
The cost estimated in 1993, when the project’s masterplan was submitted, was Rs 616.3 crore. The Centre had agreed to bear the entire project cost.
“More than 40 per cent cost escalated at the contract rewarding stage. The cost estimated when the project was envisaged in 2005 had increased by the time it came to tender inviting stage in 2007,” said Watve.
The project was estimated to cost Rs 1,200 in 2005. Five years later, the cost has risen to Rs 2,200 crore. Watve said of the 20 projects under Phase I of BRIMSTOWAD only 11 have been completed. Phase II has also been initiated, but not a single project had been completed. Work is under progress on 27 projects and tenders for 11 are yet to be invited.
“We had decided to widen the nullah using open foundation technology, which we had to change due to hurdles on the site,” a civic official said. “Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay suggested we use new technology. To adopt this, we had to change the entire design.” This increased the project cost by another 45 per cent.
The BRIMSTOWAD masterplan was submitted in 1993 by international consultants Watson and Hawskley after the 1985 floods. Former bureaucrat Madhav Chitale, who headed a committee set up after the 2005 deluge, also pushed for the project . Eight pumping stations have also been proposed under the project. Of these, only those at Irla Nullah and Haji Ali are nearing completion.