Shivaji memorial in Mumbai sea: State’s cost estimate ₹2,500 crore, bidders’ is ₹3,826 crore
Mumbai city news: There are indications the state will issue fresh tenders for the first phase of this project, which is to be built on a rock in the Arabian seaUpdated: May 30, 2017 09:17 IST
The state government’s ambitious Shivaji Memorial project finds itself in choppy waters. The firms bidding for it have quoted figures that are exorbitantly higher than the estimated costs.
While the government had estimated the cost of the first phase to be around Rs2,500 crore, the lowest bid presented by the bidders is Rs3,826 crore — Rs1,300 crore more than the estimates.
Now, there are indications the state government will issue fresh tenders for the first phase of this project, which is to be built on a rock in the Arabian sea off the Mumbai coast.
According to Vinayak Mete, chairman, Shivaji Memorial Project, the gap between the bids received and estimates is too high. “I have instructed the officials to first check how this kind of gap could exist. In addition, I feel its difficult to negotiate, but then we will also work out that option,” said Mete. “If still nothing works out, new bids will be prepared,” he said.
- The mid-sea Chhatrapati Shivaji memorial involves building the world’s tallest statue, surpassing the height of New York’s Statue of Liberty and the Statue of Unity in Gujarat
- According to the plan, the entire memorial will be 210m tall, close to a 12-storey structure, built entirely on an islet of 15.96 hectare
- The Shivaji statue will be 192m tall, with the height of the actual sculpture of the Maratha warrior king in an equestrian pose being 114.4m and the pedestal on which it stands being 77.6m, accommodating viewing decks, exhibition halls, museums and restaurants
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi conducted a bhoomipujan for the ambitious project in December.
The lowest bid quoted by Larsen & Toubro is Rs3,826 crore, which is much higher than the estimated Rs2,500 crore.
The total estimate for the project divided into two phases is Rs3,600 crore. In the first phase, work comprises reclaiming the sea, creating corresponding infrastructure, jetty work and eventually constructing the statue.
In the first phase, three companies submitted bids — Reliance Infrastructure, Afcons Infrastructure and L&T. Reliance Infrastructure did not stand up in the technical bid and the competition boiled down to just two — Afcons’ bid was Rs4,779 crore and the L&T’s bid was close to Rs3,826 crore.
This project is being executed despite protests that such grandiose plans are a waste of public money. Some have even pointed out that the state has more than 300 forts — many of them built by Warrior king Shivaji — which are in a bad shape. The prominent ones among them could be restored with a fraction of the money the government intends to spend on the memorial. Concerns are also being raised over the ecological damage the project would have on Mumbai’s coastline.
However Mete condemned the opponents saying such elements have hardly any sense of history. “Memorials of great leaders are needed to inspire future generations. Any amount of money should be spent for such ventures,” said Mete.
First Published: May 30, 2017 09:17 IST