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Increase in retention money aimed to keep BMC contractors in check

The BMC is likely to hear the proposal of increasing the percentage of retention of contractors from 10 per cent to 20 per cent in the next general body meeting

The barrage of complaints about the poor quality of road repair, drainage and sewage system, delay in construction of bridges from Mumbaikars may have just struck the right chord with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). A new proposal is expected to be discussed in the next general body meeting, to increase the percentage of retention of contractors from 10 per cent to 20 per cent.

Retention money

The city has seen many cases of contractors taking up repairs and doing poor quality work. File pic for representation

The retention money is the amount kept by the BMC of the contractor till the vigilance department certifies that the work carried out is of good quality. If the report comes back stating that the work executed by the contractor is of shoddy quality, the civic body will retain the amount.

Sources say the independent corporator, Makarand Narvekar, who put the notice of motion to increase the retention percentage to 20 per cent, has good relations with the Shiv Sena, and therefore the proposal is likely to be passed without much opposition. As the monsoon recedes, the civic body is expected to begin road repairs soon.

The recent Rs 100 crore e-tendering scam has got the authorities attention on similar issues. Questions have been raised on the cartel of tendering process by the administration, and the administration in turn blamed corporators for working hand-in-glove with contractors.

“The aim of proposing an increase in retention percentage is to reduce the cut received by contractors behind every contract. For example, if a contractor earns 30 per cent profit by doing shoddy work and 10 per cent is the retention, then with the increase in retention, he might minimise goof ups and might actually fear losing money to the BMC. Hopefully, this will help us get better quality of work from them, especially for road repair,” said Narvekar.

When mid-day asked SVR Srinivas, additional municipal commissioner, about the proposal, he said, “The notice of motion will be discussed, passed and then the commissioner has to approve it. Only then will I be in a position to comment on it.” However, a BMC official, on the condition of anonymity, said, “This could be a good move by the authorities and could stop contractors from doing shoddy work.”

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