File pic for representation
File pic for representation

Every day that citizens continue to suffer because of bad roads, the tainted contractors responsible for this continue to go scot-free, as the authorities drag their feet on the second phase of the inquiry. Nearly two months after the BMC issued show cause notices to 11 contractors for sub-standard work, the civic body is yet to blacklist them or register an FIR in the matter.

Among the 11 contractors who were named in the inquiry report, six were also indicted in the first phase of investigations last year, and the SIT arrested 24 officials, including contractors, auditors and engineers.

In the second phase, the BMC inspected over 200 roads that were built at the cost of around R200 crore. In the last week of March, it issued notices to 11 contractors asking them why they should not be blacklisted for sub-standard repair work. The contractors were at first given 15 days to respond, but the deadline was later extended by another 15 days. This deadline, too, went by in April-end, but there is no progress in the case.

Tainted road contractors who left city roads in a mess are heaving a sigh of relief as the BMC is dragging its feet on the next course of action. Most of the 11 indicted contractors, who were pulled up for doing substandard work, haven't even bothered to respond to the BMC.

A senior civic official from the Road Department said, "Only a few contractors have replied to the show cause notices. We are going through their responses. Also, we are taking legal opinion from the law department, so it will take time to initiate action. The blacklisting will begin soon." The civic body had also promised to lodge an FIR against these contractors, but that, too, is yet to happen.