BMC is a cash cow that has been milked by contractors for several years now, even though Mumbaikars have been suffering with lack of any concrete work. Finally, the civic body’s patience seems to have run out as it has blacklisted 11 contractors, debarring them from participating in any tender processes in future.
Of these five were associated with the sewage operation department, as earlier reported and pursued by MiD DAY, who tried to cheat BMC by submitting fake bills worth Rs 95 crore. They also attempted to get money sanctioned, when on ground no work had been carried out. The contractors involved in civil work too have been banned by BMC for shoddy road work. Of these, a few are also involved in Rs 540 crore road contract.
In another case, followed by a Shiv Sena MP’s proposal, a playground in Bhandup (W) was levelled, developed, beautified and had a compound wall constructed around it by using Rs 15 lakh from MP fund. Interestingly, elected representatives have started bidding for civic contracts. Abu Azmi, Samajwadi Party MLA, was recently in the news for just this.
Disappearing kerbstones is another worrying issue. At arched entrances of public buildings, cobblestone flooring was laid for horse-driven chariots in the British era. Those stones were later replaced by pavers. But where did those kerbstones go? No one knows.
More than Rs 5,000 crore has been spent on roads and footpaths in the past five years. The large amounts spent by the civic body on items for schoolkids has also been questioned. All these cases are the tip of the iceberg as BMC has a Rs 27,500 crore budget. Who is responsible for misusing taxpayers’ money? A collective silence is the response.