Noting the slow pace of work in the two flyover bridges projects in the city, Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) has slapped a Rs10 lakh penalty on the contractor. The consultant for the twin projects has also been slapped a fine of Rs 1 lakh.
“Raiya and Mavdi flyovers construction agency has been charged Rs 10 lakh as penalty for not adhering to the given deadline. The consultant (for the projects) has been charged Rs 1 lakh as penalty for delay in submission of drawings… As the consultant did not submit drawings, the contractor could not work. So, the consultant has also been fined. We have warned them to complete the work by October-end by all means,” Rajkot Municipal Commissioner Banchhanidhi Pani said.
“Both these junctions witness traffic congestion and people are facing inconvenience. We had warned the agency and the consultant four times but they did not take our warnings seriously. We had told them to meet the deadline before the onset of monsoon. But they could not complete pier-capping, nor could they launch girders. They also failed to do sand-filling before the rainy season. Such delay cannot be allowed and therefore, we have fined them,” Pani told The Indian Express.
To ensure smooth traffic movement, the RMC had proposed to construct flyovers at Raiya Circle and Mavdi Chowkadi on the 150-feet Ring Road in western Rajkot city. Rakesh Construction Company, a firm headquartered in Mehsana, was awarded the contract of constructing the two bridges in August, 2016. The DELF Consulting Engineers, an Ahmedabad-based firm, is the project management consultant (PMC) for the twin projects.
Initially, the state government had approved Rs 28 crore for Raiya flyover and Rs 24 crore for Mavdi under Swarna Jayanti Shaheri Vikas Yojana, a scheme to fund infrastructure projects in the state. Work on the project started in October 2016 and the contractor was given 18 months to complete the construction of the two flyovers that are around three kilometres apart on same road. However, the Road & Buildings Department suggested increasing the depth of foundations of Raiya flyover to five metre instead of four metre as suggested by the consultant. The government also changed the design of the bridge that led to revising the deadline to two years ending in October 2018. The changes also pushed up project cost of Raiya flyover to Rs 35 crore and Mavdi flyover to Rs 31 crore.
“We have extended the deadline, but the work must be done in a time-bound manner. The contractor has completed around 80 per cent of work. But we want the bridges to be completed by October-end. Therefore, we have penalised them,” said the municipal commissioner.
Civic officers, however, said that the contractor is unlikely to finish work on the twin bridges by October-end, with a delay of at least two more months. “The contractor argues that due to lack of space, it is unable to cast girders at the site. We have allowed the firm to cast the girders at its off-site plants. But the progress of casting is behind schedule,” said an officer.