BMC on Friday allotted nullah cleaning contracts worth Rs 65 crore allegedly to blacklisted contractors. The matter came to light in Wednesday's standing committee meeting. The opposition managed to hold back one proposal but the others were passed by majority.
A proposal for the cleaning and widening of nullahs in the eastern suburbs had been put up before the committee. According to the proposal, Chembur's Wadawali Nullah, Mulund's Nanepada nullah and other minor and major nullahs are to be cleaned and widened in the eastern suburbs. The four contracts are worth a total of Rs 65 crore. The storm water drainage department had shortlisted certain contractors and as per procedure, the proposal was sent to the committee for sanction.
When the proposal came up for discussion, BJP leader Manoj Kotak pointed out that the same contractors who had been blacklisted last year after allegations of a scam are being given the contract again. "Then why was the farce of an enquiry done last year?" he asked. Most opposition corporators supported his claim and demanded that the proposal be sent back.
To this, additional municipal commissioner Sanjay Deshmukh said that last year's nullah cleaning contracts are being investigated by the police. "These contractors were blacklisted last year but when they approached the court, it was found that there is no such clause in their contracts that they can be blacklisted. The matter is pending in court and a decision will be taken after that," he said.
Thus, three out of four proposals were passed. The opposition managed to stall only one.