W HILE green nod for the Rs 1,900 crore mid-Arabian sea Shivaji statue project finally came from the Centre last week, the Maharashtra government, which has twice failed to elicit any response from project management consultants (PMC), will now take a leaf out of neighbouring Gujarat that is constructing the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel statue on a river island.
Earlier this year, under the previous Congress-NCP government, the equestrian statue of the Maratha warrior king was redesigned with an increased height of 190 metres to tower over Gujarat’s under-construction Statue of Unity, which at 182 metres was touted as the world’s tallest.
State government officials have now sourced tender documents from the Gandhinagar-based special purpose vehicle that is executing the Statue of Unity project. “We will contact all seven firms that had shown interest in the Patel statue project, including the four that finally submitted their bids,” said R C Joshi, chief engineer of Maharashtra’s Public Works Department (PWD). PWD officials added that they would, on priority basis, get in touch with Turner constructions, which was finally appointed as the PMC for the Patel statue project and have also been consultants for Dubai’s tallest tower Burj Khalifa.
Since May this year, the department has issued bids for appointing a PMC twice. Both times, the sole bidder was the Indo-French STUP Consultants (Pvt) Ltd. This time around, PWD officials say, they have tweaked their tender documents so as to include certain conditions similar to the Gujarat project.
“In order to reassure prospective PMCs in case of procedural delays, the tender documents for the Patel statue had a condition stating that they would be paid an additional amount equal to 7.5 per cent of the lump-sum fee quoted by them per year of delay. We have now inserted the same clause whereby the appointed PMC for the Shivaji memorial will be paid similarly in case the project is not completed within its stipulated five-year period,” said a PWD official.
He added that once the final draft of the tender documents is approved by the state government, the department would call for global bids for a third time.
The earlier design of the statue, approved by the Ashok Chavan government, was 98-metre high aimed at dwarfing the 93-m high Statue of Liberty in Manhattan. The PMC will now have to work on the revised conceptual plans for the 190-m high statue as chalked out by JJ College of Architecture principal Rajiv Mishra. “The PMC will be an international consortium of architect, structural engineer, landscape designer, marine engineer, developer among others. From fleshing out the conceptual plan submitted by us to constructing the actual memorial, the PMC will be entirely responsible for the project,” said Mishra.
The ambitious project, which will include a museum, amphitheatre, underwater aquarium and landscape garden, is proposed to come up on an 16-hectare rock in the sea off Marine Drive.