Maharashtra floated tenders for Ambedkar memorial without a master plan, project report

Mumbai city news: Nearly two months after inviting bids, the planning authority is now pushing back the date to sell the tender documents

mumbai Updated: Jun 13, 2017 09:45 IST
Swapnil Rawal
Swapnil Rawal
Hindustan Times
Mumbai city news,Dr BR Ambedkar,Ambedkar memorial
Union textiles minister Smriti Irani (right) hands over land documents to CM Devendra Fadnavis and minister of state for social justice Ramdas Athawale at Vidhan Bhavan in March.(HT)

The Maharashtra government, which has planned a grand memorial of Dr BR Ambedkar in Mumbai, floated tenders for its construction without a master plan or a detailed project report in hand, it is learnt.

The construction bids were floated on April 14, which is Ambedkar’s birth anniversary, after the Urban Development Department (UDD), in a written communication dated April 13, 2017, directed planning authority Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) to float the bids. Nearly two months after inviting bids for the construction of a 350-foot Ambedkar memorial, the MMRDA is now pushing back the date to sell the tender documents as the master plan for the project is not ready yet.

Tender documents contain the terms of reference or the scope of work expected from the company bidding for the project. The master plan, which is part of the tender document, is the detailed blueprint of the project with technical specifications. Put simply, it forms the basis for the construction of the project. If a detailed plan is not prepared, it could lead to delays in project or escalate project cost.

A senior state government official said, “It was a political decision to float bids on Ambedkar Jayanti. The approach was that the process to finalise designs, secure CRZ clearance and the actual handover of the land to the MMRDA from the state government, could be carried out simultaneously.”

The letter from an undersecretary in UDD to the MMRDA, which was accessed by HT, stated that the concept plan is in place, the MMRDA should go ahead and finalise the plan and float bids. “The one-member committee under Social Justice & Special Assistance Minister (Rajkumar Badole) has approved the concept plan. Since the MMRDA is the special planning authority, it should go ahead with finalising the drawings, cost estimation as per the concept plan. Accordingly, I am hereby directed to inform you to float bids on the basis of drawing after preparing a tentative estimate of the cost,” the letter stated.

The bid floated by the MMRDA is on the design, engineering, procurement and construction (DEPC) model with an estimated cost of Rs600 crore and a construction time of 36 months from the date of awarding of the contract.

The MMRDA had first decided to sell the tender documents from May 25, but the date has now been revised to June 15.

“There are some modifications that are being made to the final design that have to be given with the tenders. We are finalising it. Once it is done, we will start with the sale of tender documents,” said UPS Madan, metropolitan commissioner, MMRDA. He said the MMRDA wants to finalise everything before giving the tenders to interested companies to avoid any complications or financial implications at a later stage.

The memorial will come up on Mumbai’s seafront at Indu Mills in Dadar, a stone’s throw from Chaityabhoomi, where Ambedkar’s ashes were interred. It will be built over an area of 4.84 hectare.

Prakash Ambedkar, grandson of Babasaheb Ambedkar and Dalit leader, said the BJP government is using his grandfather’s name to gain political mileage. “The government doesn’t want to do any intellectual activity related to Dr. Ambedkar. According to my information, the government does not have any plan ready for the memorial. They are not serious about it,” Ambedkar told HT.


Indu Mill land in Mumbai transferred to Maharashtra govt for Ambedkar memorial

First Published: Jun 09, 2017 09:15 IST