Thirteen companies have evinced interest in designing a conceptual plan for the proposed memorial of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar at Indu Mills in Dadar, a month after the citys development authority had invited experienced firms to take part in a competition to draft the best concept plan.
The 13 companies include two international firms Hong Kong-based UDP International and French firm Jakob-Macfarlane. Besides, there are three more foreign companies that have tied up with Indian companies in a joint venture. These are New Yorks Asymptote Architecture and Germanys BE Berlin and GMP International Gmbh. The rest are Indian firms. We have not opened the proposals yet. We will scrutinise them and shortlist companies as per the qualification criteria. The shortlisted companies will then have to give a presentation to an internal selection committee. From that, we will select one winner as the consultant for the design and conceptual plan of the memorial, said Dilip Kawathkar, spokesperson at the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).
Once the consultant is selected, it will be given time to draft a detailed plan for constructing the memorial on a 4.84-hectare plot at India United Mills, popularly known as Indu Mills.
The MMRDA hopes to float tenders by the end of this year to construct the memorial based on the design.
The state government had in March this year appointed the MMRDA as the special planning authority to develop a memorial for Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar at the Indu mills plot.
The plot, which is off the Arabian sea, is close to Chaityabhoomi, where Ambedkars ashes are kept. Dalits had been, for long, demanding an Ambedkar memorial at the site.
While the cost of the consultancy will be at least Rs 5 crore, the cost of the memorial itself will depend on the kind of plan the consultants come up with.
Simultaneously, MMRDA is also pursuing the proposal to get a formal approval from the textile department, as it was erstwhile mill land, and the Union environment ministry.
Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan had, during her visit to Mumbai in June, assured that the ministry would consider the proposal at the earliest.