After a four-month long wait, the first phase of the Mantralaya makeover is set to take off next week with the government awarding the first tender for Rs. 138 crore to Unity Infraprojects.
The decision, taken by chief secretary Jayant Banthia early this week, comes four months after the top three floors of the Mantralaya building were gutted by fire in June.
The blaze, which was allegedly caused by a short circuit, travelled from the fourth floor to the top floors destroying the structure.
This tender is the first of many that will be awarded in during the phase-wise construction which will be completed in eight months.
"Bid conditions also include a delay charge of Rs. 10 lakh a day, which the contractor will pay us for every day delayed after the deadline," said Banthia.
In is the first phase of the makeover, stairs, escalators and air-conditioning will be looked at, and fire safety will come in the next phase.
The first phase will include creating an extra space of around one lakh square feet, strengthening the building and creating uniform office spaces. The top three floors will be first worked on after which the floors below will be done.
"The company will be allowed to work in the night. We are now arranging for the security permits for 1,200 labourers, who will work in the first phase," added Banthia.
The delay in awarding contracts took place after the bids were over 50% higher than the costs estimated by the government, which was about Rs. 110 crore.
The government gave them time to bring down their costs. While The Shapoorji Pallonji Group is supposed to have quoted Rs. 167 crore, Larsen & Tubro had the highest bid of Rs. 177 crore.
The third, Unity Infrastructure, which was awarded the contract, had previously quoted over Rs. 160 crore for the project.