Coastal road: 154-day stay led to ₹1K-cr loss | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times

Coastal road: 154-day stay led to 1K-cr loss

ByEeshanpriya M S, Mumbai
Dec 17, 2019 11:49 PM IST

Contractors were paid ₹5cr-₹7cr a day since July 16; BMC to “immediately” resume work at 5 sites

The 154-day stay on construction of the coastal road cost the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) a loss of 700 crore-1000 crore, which may raise the cost of the 12,969-crore project by 5%-7%.

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HT Image

The Bombay high court on July 16 stayed the project, asking for environment clearance. The civic body challenged the move in the Supreme Court, which stayed the HC order on Tuesday.

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The civic body now plans to “immediately” resume work at the five sites – Priyadarshini Park, Marine Drive, Amarsons Garden, Haji Ali and Worli sea face.

Municipal commissioner Praveen Pardeshi said, “The construction of the road will commence immediately. The cost escalation is due to equipment and mobilisation of man and machinery lying idle during the stay period.”

A senior civic officer said BMC paid contractors working on the project between 5 crore and 7 crore a day since July 16, for their machinery and manpower during the period of the stay, which would bring the cost overrun to 700 crore-1,000 crore.

“Different contractors have different rates for their standby machinery. We have not calculated the actual amount. So

we can’t say exactly how much the cost would increase,” he said.

Before the stay, the civic body had completed 17% of the construction of the project, including building the sea wall, launching pit and retrieval pit for construction of the tunnels that are designed below

Girgaum Chowpatty and Malabar Hill, and construction of site offices for engineers at work.

Stalin Dayanand, director of Mumbai-based NGO Vanashakti, one of the six petitioners in the case, said, “The logic that BMC is losing money due to the delay is flawed. When they are doing something illegal, how can they say it was delayed and it cost them money? It’s like allowing a thief to rob your house out of respect for his preparations to do so…I had written to BMC in January, alerting them that there will be opposition from the citizens if they go ahead with reclamation of the sea for the project. Despite this, BMC went ahead with its mistake.”

BMC first began construction of the coastal road on October 12, 2018.

The work at various sites was taken up at the same time, and divided into three parts.

The work for the first part between Princess Street flyover at the end of Marine Drive and Priyadarshini Park at Napean Sea Road, and for the next part from Priyadarshini Park and Baroda Palace has been given to Larson and Toubro Ltd, and the part between Baroda Palace and Bandra-Worli sea link has been handed to a joint venture between Hindustan Construction Company and Hyundai Development Corporation.

The coastal road is a crucial project for the civic body and the city. BMC aims to complete its construction work within four years.

To make sure it is fast-tracked, and not derailed or delayed, the civic body signed contracts with bidders with clauses to levy heavy penalty on them, in case of delay in its construction.

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