The Telegraph
Saturday , September 8 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Smart park with state funds

The ambitious entertainment park project along Hardinge Road is on despite bidders bypassing it. The state would fund it.

The urban development department has revised the plan for the development of Shaheed Veer Kunwar Singh Azadi Park along the road. The budget would be clipped and a few facilities would be trimmed, though.

Initially, the budget for developing the park in public-private partnership (PPP) mode was Rs 242.96 crore. Now, it could be scaled down to Rs 35 crore.

According to sources, the urban development department had revised the project cost from Rs 242.96 crore to Rs 71 crore three months ago after quashing the PPP mode of execution of the project in March. “The revision of this project is being done by a Gujarat-based firm, which has been asked to reduce the cost to as low as Rs 35 crore,” a source said.

According to sources, the urban development department has allocated Rs 15 crore for the first stage of the project. It has released Rs 5 crore to Bihar Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation as first instalment for executing the project.

The urban development department secretary, S. Siddharth, told The Telegraph on Friday: “The department is at present in the process of preparing fresh estimates. The basic idea is to reduce the cost component but retain most of the features. The revised cost estimates would be furnished within a week.”

Elaborating on the factors that would trim the cost, Siddharth said: “Changing technologies for executing the project would help us save money. Instead of an underground parking facility, we will now build a parking lot in open air. It would reduce the corresponding cost component to one-fourth of the original estimate. Similar methods would be adopted in other facilities as well.”

According to sources, the original design and estimates for the park project was prepared by architect Ravi Kapoor and Associates. “The cost component of a multi-level parking facility with a capacity of over 500 vehicles in the original plan was around Rs 80 crore,” said the source.

Siddharth said the execution period of the revised park project would be much less than the original target of completing the work in 18 to 24 months. “The expected time for completion of the revised project cannot be said at this juncture. But the first phase will not take more than a year,” said the source.

The park would come up on either side of Hardinge Road sprawling over an area of nearly 20.35 acres. On the southern side of the road, its area would be 4.04 acres. The area of the northern side of the park would be 16.31 acres.

“According to the revised plan, a green area with jogging track would be developed in the first stage. Advanced facilities like 4D theatre, museum and science centres would be developed in the later stages,” said the source.

Instead of food court, open-air restaurant and fine dining restaurant on the southern part of the park, as envisaged in the original plan, a mall would come up. “Both sides of the park would still be connected with a sky walk made of glass but its cost would be reduced by using different technology and material,” said the source.

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