Updated: November 29, 2017 1:23:01 am
After years of being on the drawing board and two calls for bids, the Ambedkar Memorial is set to be costlier than expected. The only bidder for the construction has quoted 26 per cent higher than the estimated cost. Shapoorji Pallonji, the sole bidder, has quoted Rs 783 crore for the construction of the 350-feet statue, over Rs 100 crore more than the cost estimated by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) in its second call.
“We will negotiate with the bidder to bring down the costs but the final decision will be taken by the government,” said Pravin Darade, the Additional Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA.
During the second call for bids on November 2, the MMRDA had quoted an estimated cost of Rs 622 crore. It was already an increase from the initial estimated cost of Rs 550 crore, which had been quoted during the first call on April 14. The project had got poor response from bidders in the first call and the same contractor was the only bidder then. It seemed to have got a good response during the pre-bid meeting as 12 contractors had attended the meet.
The MMRDA proposes to award the work order to the contractor by December 6 — the day is observed as the death anniversary of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar.
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To be constructed on 12 acres on Indu Mills land in Dadar, the memorial would be a stone’s throw away from Chaityabhoomi, the land where the Dalit leader’s remains are interred.
At the memorial, the MMRDA proposes to have an auditorium with a seating capacity of around 800, a meditation area, a library, museum, parking lots and a replica of the Chavdar pond.
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