It’s official: It will take an additional ₹922.92 crore and seven months to complete Phase 2 of the Coastal Road Project, comprising the stretch between Baroda Palace near Haji Ali and the Worli end of Bandra-Worli Sea Link.
BMC Commissioner Iqbal Chahal recently approved the revised estimates submitted by the contractor, Hindustan Construction Company (HCC), which is executing Phase 2 in a joint venture with Hyundai Development Corporation (HDC).
Changes to the plan were necessitated following last year’s agreement between the BMC and fishing community in Worli. According to the original plan, the coastal road was supposed to be connected with the sea link through an elevated arterial bridge built on monopiles (pillars). However, the fishing community claimed that the gap between the pillars was not adequate for boats.
The community wanted a 200-metre gap between the pillars, while the BMC recommended 60 metres. After protests by the fishermen, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde intervened and ordered the authorities to increase the gap to 120 metres.
Accordingly, HCC and HDC studied the changes and said they would remove ‘Pillar 8’, and keep a 120-metre gap between Pillar 7 and Pillar 9. The contractors also proposed a ‘bow string’ girder bridge, held together through high-tension chords instead of having a base support of pillars.
The revised plan, the contractors said, would lead to a cost escalation of ₹750 crore, plus 18% GST and other charges, and take seven more months to implement.
As of today, 64% of Phase 2 is completed. The deadline for the project was October 2023; it is now May 2024.