Mumbai: BMC Administrator Iqbal Singh Chahal has green-lighted an additional payment of ₹7.21 crore to the general consultant of the Mumbai Coastal Road Project (MCRP), taking the total consultation fee to ₹85.65 crore.
The chief engineer of the project had recently submitted the proposal before the administration, which gave its approval recently.
The additional fee is on account of the changes to the design of the bridge connecting MCRP with the Bandra-Worli Sea Link.
Fishing community protest
Earlier, the plan was to connect the two with an elevated arterial bridge built on monopiles (pillars). But the fishing community protested that the gap between the pillars was not adequate for boats to navigate safely.
The community said that the gap between the pillars should be 200 metres, 140 metres more than what the BMC had recommended. Following the protests, Chief Minister Eknaath Shinde intervened and ordered the authorities to increase the gap to 120 metres. The BMC, instead of increasing the gap between pillars, then decided to construct a ‘bow string’ girder bridge, held together with high-tension chords.
The general consultant informed the Coastal Road Authority that it did not have any experts in the team to monitor the change in design. These experts will need to be hired from abroad, it said, and demanded ₹7.21 crore more as fee.
The BMC’s administrator accepted the proposal.This is not the first time that the consultancy fee for the project has gone up. When the project began in 2018, the fee was ₹34.92 crore. Thereafter, it increased several times because of delays and changes to the project.