Civic body trusts demoted contractor to build 15 FOBs

To err is human, but to forgive is the BMC’s policy towards its civic contractors, who are being awarded contracts despite a tainted record — shoddy work, demotions or pending enquiries.

This time a contractor who was demoted for doing substandard work related to the development of a school in 2009-10 has been awarded the contract to design, build, operate and transfer (DBOT) the 15 foot over-bridges (FOBs) that have been pending for over two years. He would also get advertising rights on these bridges to recover the construction cost of about Rs 25 crore, as estimated by the administration.

Dnyanraj Nikam, Opposition leader in the BMC, has questioned the administration over the decision. Nikam said, “I will be writing to the commissioner to ask for a valid reply, as the response that ‘the contractor’s demotion period has ended’ won’t work this time. The contractors who have been caught for faulty work should not be awarded any contracts, and the administration has always been handing them out to such contractors who have been downgraded by one department, but then considered by another. For example, if the school department has demoted him, why should the bridge department hand out its project to him?”

Given the contractor’s record, the Opposition has objected, asking if he could be trusted to carry out quality work on the bridges, which were originally to be built by the BMC. Opposition leaders said the city’s roads are also in poor shape because of BMC’s wrong policy making decisions, as also the fact that the construction is never checked by a third party.

Locations of the proposed FOBs
>> Ruparel College across Senapati Bapat Marg at Matunga
>> Yellow Bungalow bus stop at Sion-Bandra Link Road
>> Mahim crossing to Senapati Bapat Marg at Mahim station
>> Near Phoenix Mill across Senapati Bapat Marg
>> Worli Naka
>> Nehru Planetarium near NAB School
>> Mohite Patil Nagar (PMGP Colony), Mankhurd
>> LBS Marg from St Michael School to SBI, Kurla (West)
>> Lal Dongar across V N Purav Marg in Chembur
>> Ghatkopar-Mankhurd Link Road at Indian Oil Nagar
>> St Xavier's School to Birla Company, Kanjurmarg (West)
>> Sathe Nagar on Ghatkopar-Mankhurd Link Road
>> Goregaon-Mulund link Road, Bangur Nagar, Goregaon (West)
>> Dahisar River Near gaothan, Dahisar (West)
>> NAB office at Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan Road, Worli Seaface

The other side
In the way of an explanation, R Tare, deputy chief engineer, bridges, said, “We have given them the contract on DBOT basis and they showed us the certificate of PWD works they have carried out and they fulfilled all our tender conditions. Their period of de-gradation got over last year itself but they are yet to get the BMC certificate, so they submitted PWD certificates. We will also earn some revenue out of the 15 FOBs once they are built.” 

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