In a startling revelation made by the officials of the Municipal Chief Auditor (MCA) department, the BMC officials are yet to recover Rs 140 crore from various departments in the form of fines for shoddy work and overpaid contracts from the contractors.
Officials added that while the amount is for 2012, the outstanding balance is only going to increase for the current year. The auditor in its report mentioned about the lapses in recovery process from the contractors. It is stated that the BMC is yet to recover Rs 140 crore from contractors employed by departments such as Storm Water Drain, Roads, Bridges, Hospital, Transport, Solid Waste Management.
“The amount has to be recovered in the form of fines from various contractors and the recovery is pending since 1995,” Municipal Chief Auditor V D Saatpute said. He added that apart from collecting fines from the erring contractors, the civic body was yet to recover about Rs 2,750 crore from water bills, assessment charges, octroi, building proposal and other miscellaneous charges. Standing Committee Chairman Rahul Shewale, under whom the MCA falls, said, “It is a cumulative amount and most of the recovery has been done.”
The MCA department examines random cases and checks whether the contract conditions were fulfilled by the contractor or not, and whether the payment made by the civic body was justified, which is a regular practice. If officials spot lapses or malpractice in the contract, then they are mentioned in the annual MCA report. Though the department staff is employed by the BMC, it works and reports to the Standing Committee. The report calls for detailed scrutiny of the work and balance sheet to detect malpractices by contractors and errant civic officials.