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2 firms bid for Marine Drive revamp,quote 15% more than estimated cost

The two companies have been associated with the corporation for at least 15 years.

Published: December 12, 2013 2:23 am

The Marine Drive road revamp project has attracted only two infrastructure firms,but both have bid 15 per cent more than the estimated cost of Rs 57 crore.

The financial bids opened by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s roads department Wednesday showed that RPS Infraprojects (formerly R P Shah) bid about 14.42 per cent higher and K R Constructions bid 14.9 per cent more than the estimated cost for renewing the 4.3-km iconic stretch from Nariman Point to Girgaum Chowpatty.

The two companies have been associated with the corporation for at least 15 years. These two,along with a handful of other contractors,have been routinely held responsible for the poor condition of roads by quoting low prices and carrying out sub-standard work.

“Poor quality of road works is not determined by contractors alone. It also depends on the terms of contracts and this time,we are ensuring quality by raising the performance guarantee,the defect liability period and tightening other conditions. This is an important road and the work should be of premium quality,” Additional Municipal Commissioner SVR Srinivas said.

In early 2013,RPS Infraprojects was awarded contracts worth roughly Rs 320 crore for concretising and asphalting roads in the island city. These were awarded even after the firm’s ratings were downgraded by the civic building proposals (BP) department for two years on account of poor construction work for a civic school. In November 2012,KR Constructions (together with RPS Infraprojects) was awarded contracts worth Rs 268.26 crore for concretising roads.

After initiating plans for resurfacing the Marine Drive stretch,the civic body finally floated the tender in November. While the proposed work does not include the civic body’s plan of overhauling the underground storm water drain network as planned earlier,other additions for the beautification of the road’s median,through plantation of exotic trees,has been sought.

According to the tender conditions,the appointed contractors must complete the resurfacing and road improvement works within 10 months,barring the four months of monsoon.

As per the plan,70 per cent of the stretch from Girgaum Chowpatty to Madame Cama Road will be resurfaced using mechanised mastic. This will include a higher percentage of bitumen to increase the stretch’s life span. The rest of the road will be concretised.

“We will shortly submit a formal proposal to the standing committee for approval. We are working with the Mumbai Traffic Police to chalk out a plan for carrying out the work in phases. Work will begin soon after the standing committee approves it,” Srinivas said.

alison.saldanha@expressindia.com

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