Mumbai: State govt's which are accustomed to to delay in projects, have for the first time levied a fine of Rs 5000/- per day to its contractor in the Mantralaya makeover project. M/s Unity Constructions has been levied Rs 6,10,000/- as fines by the govt. It has also come to light that, the contractor has already received Rs 109.42 crores as payment against Rs 138 crore project. This has been revealed in a reply to a query filed by RTI Activist Anil Galgali.
RTI Activist Anil Galgali had filed a query with the Maharashtra govt seeking details of the Mantralaya make over project. In a reply to the query the PWD's Public information officer & Dy Executive Engineer replied that, the Mantralaya makeover project was started on 24/12/2012 and its estimated cost is Rs 138 crores, the project was supposed to be completed in 8 months and there has been no cost escalations in the project which is expected to be completed 100% by 31/12/2014.
Further Galgali had sought to know how much fine was levied in case the project was not completed in time. It was replied that, fine @ Rs 5000/= per day was levied on the contractor for delay in work, and up-till 31/11/2014, Rs 6,10,000/= has been levied out of which Rs 4,00,000/= has been recovered from the contractor.
Looking at the time frame of the project it can be understood that the project was to be completed by 24/08/2013, and as per rules the fine of Rs 5000/= par day was to be levied after that, which comes to 402 days, which amounts to Rs 20,10,000/-, hence as per information submitted, the fine amount levied is less than actual.
Galgali has now sought to know that, since to project was running a delay by almost 16 months, and the contractor was being levied fines for the delay, what was the urgency in releasing Rs 109.42 crores as payment out of the total estimated cost of Rs 138 crores. He also expressed surprise of the reduced fine charges, as at the time the contract was given the govt had announced a fine of Rs 5 lakhs per day in case of delay, and a reward of Rs 2.5 lakhs per day for early completion of the contract.