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BJP questions BMC over delay, cost escalation in rail over bridge near Vikhroli station

In May 2018, the BMC had awarded a contract of Rs 45 crore to M/s HV Construction for construction of railway flyover near Vikhroli Railway Station with a deadline of October 2020.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
February 13, 2022 1:20:23 am
Civic officials have defended the change in cost and blamed the Railway for the increase in expenses. (File)

The cost escalation of more than 90 per cent and delay of over a year in work on construction of a rail over bridge (ROB) near Vikhroli Railway station to connect east and west parts of the area has drawn ire of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) corporators. The party has questioned Shiv Sena-run Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) over the project, which is only 40 per cent complete.

In May 2018, the BMC had awarded a contract of Rs 45 crore to M/s HV Construction for construction of railway flyover near Vikhroli Railway Station with a deadline of October 2020. But so far, only 40 per cent work has been completed and the civic body has proposed an escalation of Rs 42 crore in original cost with a new deadline of October 2022.

BJP corporator Bhalchandra Shirsat objected to the cost escalation and asked for details on the reasons behind the same. “The project is yet far from completion. The BMC has now come up with cost escalation. There are irregularities in the project and without work completion, BMC is proposing to give away additional money,” said Shirsat.

Civic officials have defended the change in cost and blamed the Railway for the increase in expenses. As per the new proposal, along with construction cost, consultancy fee has also increased. Until now, the construction work on pillars on the east and west has been completed.

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BJP group leader Prabhakar Shinde said that the administration should give explanation on increase in consultancy fee. “There are two other bridges proposed in Vidyavihar and Nahur. What is the progress of those two projects? Proposed works at these three locations are important for easing the traffic on east and west connectivity. Also, the BMC must give an explanation on cost escalation of consultancy fee for Vikhroli flyover,” said Shinde.

According to the new proposal, the consultant for Vikhroli was given a contract of Rs 53.60 lakh and now there is an increase of Rs 41.97 lakh.

Officials from the BMC, meanwhile, said that the cost has increased due to changes suggested by the Railways.

“Technical changes and delay in Railway’s instruction on use of steel girders for the flyover has led to cost escalation in the work. The BMC will check on escalation in consultancy fees,” said P Velrasu, Additional Municipal Commissioner (Projects). Despite BJP’s objection, the proposal was cleared in the Standing Committee meeting on Friday.

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