Congress-NCP see corruption in Shivaji memorial tender

Mumbai: The Congress and NCP on Tuesday alleging a scam in tendering process of construction of of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Memorial off the coast of Mumbai and demanded a judicial probe into the tendering process for the construction.

Addressing a press conference, Sachin Sawant and Nawab Malik, spokespersons of Congress and NCP respectively, accused the Devendra Fadnavis government of “serious irregularities” in awarding the contract for the project.

Sawant said the Shivaji memorial was associated with the sentiment of the state’s people, despite which the BJP-led state government was indulging in corruption in its construction.

They said the two parties would write to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) to look into the matter.

“As per CVC guidelines, a tender cannot be renegotiated after change in scope of work. Larsen and Toubro (L&T), the lowest bidder, had quoted Rs 3,826 crore for the memorial, which has a total height of 121.2 metres comprising 83.2 metre statue and 38 metre sword,” they said.

“However, the tender was re-negotiated against CVC guidelines and the contract was approved after negotiation at Rs 2500 crore,” the two leaders added.

“To reduce the cost of the project, changes were made in the design of the statue. The overall height of the memorial was kept the same at 121.2 metres, but the height of the statue was reduced to 75.7 metres and the height of the sword was increased to 45.5 metres.

Even the reclaimed area was reduced from 15.6 hectors to 12.8 hectors of which only 6.8 hectors were going to be used for developing the Shivsmarak (Shivaji memorial) in first phase.

What was even more surprising that the revised proposal was approved by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Februray 28,2018.

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