Mumbai: Hancock bridge construction sees Rs 25 crore cost escalation

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will spend Rs 25 crore more on construction of the Hancock bridge. Citing that railway authorities, following guidelines of IIT-Bombay, has suggested to increase the weight of iron girders, the BMC said this has led to the cost escalation.

Officials said the original cost of the project was Rs 51.70 crore and work was supposed to be completed in four years. “The BMC had made girders of 660 metric tonne for the bridge, but later railways informed us that the girders should be of 1,374 metric tonne. This has led to increase of Rs 25.76 crore in the original cost. The BMC also has to pay to the consultant due to change in work,” a BMC official said.

The 140-year-old bridge, connecting Sandhurst Road railway station to Byculla over the railway tracks, was demolished in 2016 after it was declared dilapidated in a structural audit report. BMC officials said that CR’s chief engineer (bridges) gave permission to launch iron girders — support beam used for construction — on December 30.

With the work being awarded to a blacklisted company, the contract was scrapped on the orders of the Bombay High Court in 2016. In 2018, the work was awarded to another contractor. The BMC, which was to execute the project with the railways, set a deadline of 18 months to complete it. However, work has since been moving at a snail’s pace. The proposal of cost escalation will be tabled in Standing Committee for final approval on Tuesday.