Delay in sea link project: MSRDC decides to impose penalty on contractor

MSRDC had issued a showcause notice to the contractor seeking an explanation for the delay in work.

Dissatisfied with the response of Reliance Astaldi JV over the reasons for the delay in the Versova Bandra Sea Link Project, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) has decided to impose a penalty — which could be as high as Rs 3.5 crore per day — on the contractor for its failure to adhere to the project timeline.

The Indian Express on September 3 had reported that the MSRDC had issued a showcause notice to the contractor seeking an explanation for the delay in work. The 17.7-km long Bandra-Versova Sealink is being built by Reliance Astaldi, which was awarded the contract in June 2019. The entire work was to be completed by 2025.

According to the terms of the contract, Reliance Astaldi was to complete 5 per cent of the physical and financial progress by August 31, 2021. However, MSRDC claimed that the contractor has so far achieved only 0.62 per cent of the physical progress and 2.05 per cent of the financial progress in spite of getting paid Rs 203.26 crore as mobilization advance.

The corporation claimed that it has already granted 250 days extension to the company due to a change in the location of the casting yard and another extension of 184 days due to the pandemic.

MSRDC officials said that the project cost is estimated at Rs 7,000 crore and the fine could be Rs 3.5 crore per day.

MSRDC’s Deputy Engineer Sachin Niphade, who is directly supervising the work, said, “We have issued the notice as the work is not happening on time.”

MSRDC Chief Engineer Shashikant Sontakke said, “The contractor may be having reasons for not doing the work. We have issued a notice for not completing the work and it will have to pay a penalty.”

Daljeet Arora, who heads the company’s corporate communications cell, declined to comment on the letter.

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