Mumbai: CAG report nails delay in opening of remaining 2 lanes of Hancock bridge

As per the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in its June 2022 report, “deficient planning led to delay in construction of the bridge”.

SHEFALI PARAB-PANDITUpdated: Friday, November 04, 2022, 10:31 PM IST
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Mumbai: CAG report nails delay in Hancock bridge | File Photo

Mumbai: Although two lanes of the key south Mumbai Hancock bridge were opened on August 2 this year, the remaining two lanes are still pending even after six years of the structure's demolition.

As per the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in its June 2022 report, “deficient planning led to delay in construction of the bridge”.

Bridge was demolished in 2016 after it was declared dangerous

The 150-year-old bridge was declared dangerous and demolished in January 2016. It’s located between Sandhurst Road and Byculla and is a crucial east-west connector along with Carnac bunder bridge. Its reconstruction was expected to be completed before the pandemic. However, it was delayed due to hurdles posed by residential buildings on either side of the road.

As per the CAG report, the work was awarded to M/s Sai Projects (Mumbai) Pvt Ltd at 5.9% above the estimated cost of Rs35.78 crore. The work order was issued in February 2018 with the stipulated period of completion being 19 months. After scrutiny of relevant records, it was found that the work required to be completed by September 2019 could not be completed as of April 2022. The work of the approach slip roads which was to be completed within 19 months was incomplete till the time of audit, which may result in cost escalation. Moreover, the file regarding payment made to the consultant was not submitted for audit. 

Other reasons:

-Shifting of electrical and MTNL cables

-Nearly 100 encroachments on railway land removed in 2019

-Delay in construction of approach and slip road due to non-removal of encroachments

Originally, the weight of steel girders considered as 660 MT; later, on the recommendation of IIT Bombay the weight was increased to 1374 MT (led to increase in quantity of steel and cost to the tune of Rs 20.76 crore) Standing committee approved the cost in 2020

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