Frequent delays in the civic body’s ambitious Middle Vaitarna dam project has yet again led to cost escalation of Rs144.45 crore this year.
The dam is expected to provide the city with an additional 455 million litres of water every day.
The expenditure for constructing the 6.8km tunnel – a major part of the project- from Gundavali to Kapurbavadi has been increased due to an increase in the cost of raw materials.
“Due to increase in the prices of the steel plates, cement, iron and other raw materials, we have to increase the expenditure cost and pay additional cost incurred to the contractor,” said Rajiv Jalota, additional municipal commissioner, BMC.
In March, HT had reported that a 58 per cent escalation in costs amounting to Rs 900 crore has already been incurred by the BMC in a span of nine years, since the project was envisioned in 2004.
“Delay in completion is a part and parcel of such huge projects. There are various reasons for the delay but we are expecting that the tunnel will be completed by March 2015,” said Jalota.
The tunnel was initially expected to be ready by April 2014. Out of the total length of 6.8km, civic officials have claimed that 5.3km has been already completed.
The BMC will put forth the proposal of cost escalation in the standing committee meeting on Wednesday.
The BMC sets aside a contingency fund to meet such escalation in prices for each project.
However, in the case of the Middle Vaitarna project, the cost has been escalated frequently.
Last year, the contingency amount was increased from 10 percent to 19.75 per cent of the total estimated cost.
Now, the administration will be spending 23.56 per cent of the estimated cost, which means additional Rs121.66 crore will be spent this year.