Mumbai: The delay in completing several bridges across the city has resulted in their cost escalation in the past few years.
An ex-corporator and activist has raised a concern about the recent increase in construction cost of Dahisar-Bhayander Link road (DBLR). A Congress leader has also requested the Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to look into the matter and stop the practice of cost escalation.
The ambitious DBLR project, which will ease connectivity between the island city and the western suburbs has seen a cost escalation even before its construction started.
Ravi Raja, former opposition leader of the BMC and senior Congress leader said, “The estimated cost of the project was ₹1,600 crore in 2016 and has now increased to ₹4,000 crore while the project is still under tendering stage. The civic body’s lack of planning has resulted in a waste of taxpayers’ money. Do the administrators think that they are not answerable to anyone? We have requested the chief minister to take the necessary steps to stop such malpractices in the BMC.”
Ganesh Shetty, an activist from Vikhroli said, “East-West connectivity in Vikhroli has been an issue ever since the level-crossing gate was shut 10 years ago. After consistent efforts by the locals and activists, a work order was issued for the bridge in May 2018. When several agencies are involved in the project, they are expected to work in coordination to avoid delays and cost escalation. I have been after the project for the past 10 years.”
The estimated cost of the bridge has escalated from ₹45.77 crore to ₹97.37 crore, while the new estimated completion date is June 2024.
"Citizens have to suffer due to the incompletion of the project"
Anil Galgali, an RTI activist said, “The work on Vidyavihar rail over the bridge has been delayed, resulting in cost escalation. The citizens have to suffer due to the incompletion of the project. There will be no delay in obtaining various permissions if the railway administration initiates a single window scheme in such a project”.
The actual cost of the bridge was ₹99.98 crore, which rose to ₹108 crore after the railways made some changes to the design. The length of the bridge was also increased, which led to the cost rising to ₹178.93 crore, and the new deadline is mid-2024, civic sources informed.
The estimated cost of building the twin tunnels as well as renting a casting yard and the disposal of debris has raised the cost of the Goregaon Mulund Link Road (GMLR) project by ₹132 crore.
The Delisle bridge in Lower Parel has seen a cost escalation of ₹14 crore due to several delays in the past five years. However, a senior civic official said, “Big projects like GMLR, DBLR, coastal roads are the first of its kind here and it takes time to complete and sometimes delays the work.”