Two months after the Kalyan East Skywalk was thrown open to the public, a Right to Information (RTI) query has revealed that the Kalyan Dombivili Municipal Corporation (KDMC) had extended the deadline eight times causing much-delay and also resulting in cost escalation of the project. Common public faced severe inconvenience due to the six year delay of the work and it was opened after spending Rs. 12, 74,57,084, revealed the RTI query.
RTI activist Anil Galgali questioned the KDMC regarding Kalyan East Skywalk. KDMC Deputy Engineer Nemade Bhalchandra informed him that physically the Skywalk was open to public since December 31, 2016. This Skywalk was also funded by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) and the KDMC had issued work order to M/s. Jai Hind Road Contractors on November 6, 2009. “On October 31, 2008, the Standing Committee of KDMC sanctioned an expenditure of Rs. 10,75,86,000 which was more then 39 percent of actual cost that is Rs. 7,74,00,000. However, on September 29, 2015, the Standing Committee again gave a node for a cost escalation of Rs.1,98,71,084 which totalled the cost to Rs.12,74,57,084. The project was also affected when the railway authorities permitted to carry out the construction only outside of the railway tracks. The KDMC too extended the deadline of the project on 8 seperate ocassions - June 5, 2011, March 31, 2012, September 30, 2013, March 31, 2014, March 31, 2015, December 31, 2015, May 31, 2016 and December 31, 2016,” Galgali said.
He further added, “Even after such repeated delays, the KDMC did not take any action on the contractor. Instead, M/s. Jai Hind Road Contractors put up his board on the skywalk as a courtesy after the Skywalk was opened for public. This is even after he benefited crores of rupees with the delay of the work. I took a stron objection to this with the authorities in the KDMC after which the officials of the KDMC removed the name of the contractor by using white ink on the said board.”
It will be recalled that the Kalyan East Skywalk was opened for public after Member of Parliament Shrikant Shinde along with senior railway officials and KDMC officials team had supervised the work in January.