BMC proposes handing over of Mithi River Bridge project to MMRDA, Corporators cry foul

Mumbai: The Municipal Corporators of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) have questioned the BMC administration's decision of handing over the construction works of Mithi River bridge to the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).

Back in 2017, the BMC had awarded a Rs 59 crore contract to a private firm for constructing the bridge over Mithi River. The proposed 750 meter bridge will connect BKC to Santacruze-Chembur-Link-Road (SCLR) over the Mithi River and would cut down travel time by half. The deadline of the project was May 2019 and the private contractor was not able to start the work before 2018 and failed to meet the deadline.

The proposal of handing over the project to MMRDA was tabled during the standing committee meeting on July 14, which was opposed by members of opposition parties. According to the new proposal, BMC will have to pay Rs 51 crore to MMRDA, for completing the works.

According to members, the proposal doesn't have clarity and details.

Ravi Raja, Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the BMC, tweeted saying, "The standing committee has approved the proposal by @mybmc administration of handing over Mithi River bridge to MMRDA, but still, the administration is accountable to the committee what action they are going to take against earlier contractor to whom they have already paid 16 crore?"

Asif Zakaria, Congress corporator and member of the committee, said that the committee has asked for certain details which would be raised during the next meeting.

"The proposal is incomplete in many ways, we are yet to know how much money has been spent on the project and if the money, that is already being paid to earlier contractor, will be recovered," said Zakaria on Friday.

Vinod Mishra, BJP corporator and group leader of the party in BMC, has sought details of the penalty imposed on the contractors.

"The BMC has its own planning department, engineers and architectures, even after that they are unable to complete the project and have now appointed other agency. This is nothing but centralised corruption," Mishra said.

Meanwhile, senior officials of the civic body have said that the project has been handed over to MMRDA as major projects were affected due to the delay.

"Projects like widening of roads in SCLR were kept on hold as the project was delayed. The widening works were supposed to be carried out by MMRDA, which is why we have given the new contract to them for fast result," said the official. He also mentioned that so far the previous contractor has been able to complete works, worth Rs 13 crores only and entire expense sheet will be presented to the committee.

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