The proposed Rs 1,900-crore mid-sea Shivaji memorial, which has twice failed to attract more than a single bid for the job of the project management consultant (PMC), has now received bids from three international consultants within a month of getting clearance from the Union environment ministry.
The state Public Works Department (PWD), which was forced to call for bids for a third time earlier this year, has this month received offers from three firms.
These include the US-based Egis group, a consortium of the Indo-French firm STUP Consultants Pvt Ltd, Fairwood consultants and Design Associates and the consortium of Pentacle Consultants and the Canadian Norr group.
Officials said that the relatively better response this time around comes in the wake of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) giving the long-pending location clearance for the project in February. The memorial, which includes an equestrian statue of the warrior king, an amphitheatre, a museum and an under-water aquarium, is proposed to come up on an elliptical rock 1.2 km from Raj Bhavan, in the Arabian sea.
Taking a leaf out of Gujarat’s under-construction Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel statue, this time around the tender conditions were tweaked so that the PMC is assured of an additional payment in case of delay beyond the stipulated five-year period.
“We introduced a clause that said that the PMC would be paid an amount equal to 7.5 per cent of the lump-sum fee quoted by them for each year of delay. Also, the stringent qualification criteria for PMCs were diluted a bit. Both these encouraged more parties to come forward,” said a PWD official.
The PMC, expected to be an international consortium of structural engineers, architects, landscape designers, developers and marine engineers among others is in charge of ‘providing consultancy services from concept to commissioning (on turnkey basis)’.
The existing design, approved by a committee under former NCP minister Jayant Patil, proposes a 190 m high memorial meant to outdo Gujarat’s under-construction Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel memorial in the race to be the world’s tallest statue. In its Budget 2015-16, the state has made an initial allocation of Rs 100 crore for the memorial.
“An evaluation panel comprising three architects and two engineers will screen all three offers for its technical qualifications. The final decision on awarding the project will be taken by the CM,” said officials.