Mumbai: MLA alleges Rs 700-crore road repair fraud in BMC

Congressman from Chandrapur claims civic officials, contractors siphoned off 70% of the Rs 1,000-cr contract

Vijay Wadettiwar, Congress MLA from Chandrapur, yesterday alleged a multi-crore scam during the road repair work undertaken by the BMC for 2012-13 fiscal. Addressing media persons in the city, he claimed 70 per cent from the Rs 1,000-crore contract was siphoned off by various contractors by submitting forged receipts.

Wadettiwar stated that the alleged fraud has been on for the last five years, during which the civic body incurred losses amounting to Rs 5,000 crore. The MLA levelled these allegations a day after Congress veteran Gurudas Kamat wrote to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis about alleged irregularities in road contracts in Mumbai.

Personal survey
Wadettiwar claimed he scrutinised 82 roads in the Western suburbs with the help of an engineer. During the month-long survey, he compared work orders issued to the contractors and the road they repaired.

Wadettiwar said the survey revealed that while most of the repair work was substandard, no work was carried out at a few locations. This, he claimed, was a clear indicator of the nexus between contractors and civic officials.

“While we have sought data for the entire city through an RTI query, we were issued details only for the Western suburbs. Every year, BMC makes budgetary provision of Rs 3,000 crore to execute road repair work. This means Rs 1,000 crore is allocate to the Western suburbs. Of this, 70 per cent has been siphoned off. This has been happening for years now,” Wadettiwar said.

‘It’s my job’
When asked why an MLA from Chandrapur decided to expose an alleged fraud outside his constituency, Wadettiwar said being a former minister it was his duty to help curb malpractices. “We aren’t playing any politics. After all, this is in interest of the city. Now, they (BMC) need to prove us wrong,” he said.

When contacted, civic chief Ajoy Mehta said the allegations are already being probed.

A few examples
The MLA claimed contractors submitted forged bills of Rs 4.45 crore for repairing Rizvi Complex Road in Bandra (west) and Rs 5.39 crore for maintaining Ambedkar Road in Khar (West).

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