Bihar govt revises museum subway project cost by ₹169-cr

Urban Development Housing Department had to upwardly revise the project estimate to ₹542-cr as the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation was not getting competitive bidding for it

Bihar Museum subway project

Patna: The 1.5km long subway, connecting the Century old Patna museum with Bihar Museum, will now be built at the revised cost of ₹542 crore, instead of the earlier estimate of ₹373 crore.

The Urban Development and Housing Department (UDHD), Bihar, had to revise and enhance the estimate substantially after its earlier bid to rope in reputed construction firm for the construction failed to elicit good response.

Additional chief secretary, cabinet, S Siddharth said that the state cabinet at its meeting chaired by chief minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday approved the UDHD proposal to increase cost of construction of the ‘heritage tunnel’ by ₹169 crore.

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The UDHD had to raise the project cost after the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) asked for upward revision of the project cost. The DMRC, which is executing the Patna Metro Rail Network project, has been appointed as the technical consultant of ‘heritage tunnel’ as well. The UDHD has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the UDHD in January this year. As part of the agreement, DMRC will select the reputed firm to build the tunnel after floating the global tender.

Earlier, the DMRC had floated the tender to build the project as per the initial estimate. However, only one construction company, Afcons Infrastructure Ltd, which reconstructed the 1,743-crore Mahatma Gandhi Setu and build Atal Tunnel in Himachal Pradesh, had submitted the bid for construction the heritage tunnel. However, the DMRC had cancelled the tender after Afcons Infrastructure Ltd turned out to be the lone bidder in April this year.

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A senior officer of the UDHD, pleading not to be quoted, said that the department had to revise the cost on the DMRC’s request. The DMRC had claimed that the agency was not able to get the competitive bids from multiple firms as construction of the tunnel with required diameter would go up.

World-class heritage tunnel: DMRC

A senior DMRC official said that it would be a technological marvel and is first of its kind of tunnel which is being constructed in India for joining the two museums. The entry/exit building will have a ground-plus first-floor structure with three-level basements. The entry/exit building will accommodate facilities like security check, goods lift, toilets and other utilities for the convenience of the public.

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The tunnel will be sort of an art gallery, showcasing the states art, culture and heritage through Madhubani painting, murals and other artifacts on the tunnel walls. Apart from connectivity, the tunnel will attract art lovers and visitors also.

The proposed tunnel shall be fully air-conditioned with two lifts on both side of the tunnel. Stairs and pedestrian passage will be for those who are willing to walk the distance. It shall be equipped with Battery operated Golf Car for smooth, convenient, and eco-friendly transit service to the visitors.

Cross-sectional design of Heritage Subway

The tunnel will be equipped with all safety measures for fire safety and safe evacuation of the visitors. Provisions for combined ticketing and seamless transition from metro system are also envisaged to make it easy and convenient for visitors.

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Tunnel Boring machine (TBM) will be used at the depth of 16.5 metre for constructing the tunnel with 8- metre diameter. This subway tunnel will run about 15 to 20 m below the ground level. The Patna Metro tunnel will pass at a depth of 29 m at the crossing point. There will be a vertical clearance of about 6.5 m between Subway tunnels and Patna Metro tunnel at the crossing point below Bailey Road.

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