A construction firm has been fined Rs 5,000 per day for delay in completing the Mantralaya renovation project, according to an RTI query.
The firm M/s Unity Constructions, the contractor of the project has been levied Rs. 6,10,000 as fine by the state government for failing to complete the renovation work on time, as revealed in a reply to a query filed by RTI activist Anil Galgali.
It has also come to light that the contractor has already received Rs. 109.42 crore as payment against Rs. 138 crore, cost of the project.
Galgali had filed a query with the Maharashtra government seeking details of the Mantralaya make over project.
In a reply to the query, PWD’s Public information officer and deputy Executive Engineer replied that the Mantralaya makeover project started on January 24, 2012 and its estimated cost is Rs. 138 crores.
The project was scheduled to be completed in eight months and there have been no cost escalations in the project which is expected to be completed by this year end.
As per the RTI reply, fine of Rs. 5,000 per day was levied on the contractor for delay in work, and till November 30, 2014, Rs. 6,10,000 has been levied, out of which Rs. 4,00,000 has been recovered from the contractor.
“The project was to be completed by August 24, 2013, and as per rules, a fine of Rs. 5,000 per day was to be levied. Considering this, the number of days 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 said.
He questioned that since the project is delayed by almost 16 months and the contractor was being fined for it, what was the urgency in releasing Rs. 109.42 crore as payment out of the total estimated cost of Rs. 138 crore.
The RTI activist also expressed surprise in the cut in fine charges, as at the time when the contract was awarded, the government had announced a fine of Rs. 5 lakh per day in case of delay and a reward of Rs. 2.5 lakh per day for early completion of the contract.
Mantralaya, the state government secretariat was ravaged by a massive fire in June 2012.