MMRDA officials confirmed that work on the memorial would start next year.
Mumbai: After a delay of two years, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has finally awarded the contract for construction of the Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar memorial to sole contractor, the Shapoorji Pallonji group.
MMRDA officials confirmed that work on the memorial would start next year. With the sole contractor having quoted 26 per cent higher than the estimated cost of the project, authorities said that negotiations with the contractor are underway.
UPS Madan, metropolitan commissioner, said, "Since they are the sole bidders who have come forward each time, the Shapoori group will execute the memorial project. We are not planning to rebid."
In 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi did the bhoomi pujan for the project at Indu Mills, Dadar. At the time, the estimated cost of the project was Rs 500 crore.
However, in June, authorities floated tenders with an estimated cost of Rs 662 crore.
The contractor meanwhile has quoted a price which is 26 per cent higher, pushing up the cost to more than Rs 700 crore.
Due to constant delays in execution of the project, Dr Ambedkar's followers on November 28 held a reminder march to try and accelerate the process.
Authorities have invited bids for the project twice since 2015 but apart from the Shapoorji group, no one has shown interest in it. MMRDA officials cited lack of expertise as the reason for the tepid response.
The memorial will be constructed at Indu Mills which is close to Chaityabhoomi, where the ashes of Dr Ambedkar have been buried.
The construction will take place on 12 acre of mill land, and will include a 350-feet statue of Dr Ambedkar.
In addition to this, there will be a library, a replica of the historic Chavdar pond in Raigad, and other viewing areas along with a parking lot.