MMRDA to levy penalty for delay in monorail

The first phase of the 19.5-km Chembur-Wadala-Jacob Circle monorail was to be completed by October 2010.

Written by MANASI PHADKE | Mumbai | Published: November 12, 2013 12:49:27 am

With the country’s first monorail delayed by more than two years,the city’s development authority has now taken a tough stand,saying it will invoke the penalty clause in the contract if the consortium in charge fails to complete the first phase and commission the line this year as promised.

The first phase of the 19.5-km Chembur-Wadala-Jacob Circle monorail was to be completed by October 2010. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has so far granted extensions to the consortium in charge,comprising Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and Malaysia’s Scomi Engineering,on at least two occasions,a senior official said.

However,so far while granting deadline extensions,the MMRDA has not imposed any penalty or factored in the cost escalation in the project because there are several claims and counter claims involved.

“We have told them verbally and will also be sending a letter that we will impose a penalty as per the contract if the Chembur-Wadala phase does not start on the date they had committed. This is being done to check further delay in the project and is aimed at speeding up things,” a senior MMRDA official said. However,the official said it would be difficult to specify the quantum of the penalty,and it will be calculated as per the provisions of the contract as and when required.

“There were many previously unforeseen challenges. For example,we had not envisaged forest clearance earlier,but we had to later get it done. There were land acquisition issues. Some utilities had to be diverted which we didn’t know about earlier. So,we had not spoken of cost escalations or penalty so far,” the MMRDA official said.

L&T declined comment.

The construction of the 8.3-km Chembur-Wadala monorail is complete and the consortium is currently conducting reliability tests on the line to iron out glitches.

manasi.phadke@expressindia.com

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