PMC House leader points to elephant in room, evokes shouts of protest
When Subhash Jagtap said many contractors are profiteering due to their association with corporators, Opposition leaders feigned shock, demanded to know list of such contractors
As far as development work is concerned, the nexus between private contractors is an open secret. But dropping the charade of this secrecy led to a furore in the PMC general body meeting on Monday, after house leader Subhash Jagtap alleged that many contractors are making profits due to this linkage.
State Urban Development Minister Jayant Patil. File Pic
Soon after Jagtap’s statement, corporators from the opposition parties kicked up a ruckus, demanding that the names of such contractors be announced. Jagtap replied that a detailed list of such contractors had already been submitted to the assistant municipal commissioner Omprakash Bakoria. Taking note of these allegations, Mayor Chanchala Kodre ordered PMC Commissioner Vikas Deshmukh to blacklist the firms.
Bakoria recently issued an order directing PMC engineers involved in development works to first submit GPS maps of the proposed projects, and only then give their approval to any work. This practice will eliminate duplication of work.
However, ruling NCP’s corporator Vishal Tambe objected to this new rule. “Ward-level development works are unnecessarily getting delayed due to this new provision. Engineers don’t have any knowledge of how to submit the GPS maps,” said Tambe
But shooting down this protest, MNS corporator Bapu Wagaskar said, “This is a revolutionary decision by the PMC administration. Many times the same work gets proposed in the same area more than once. Such repetitive work takes a heavy toll on the PMC’s revenue. Through GPS, the administration will be aware of the location of the ongoing work.”
During discussions, Subhash Jagtap said, “Many contractors charge money for work which is not in the plan. For work of R5 lakh, contractors charge R20 lakh by fraudulently escalating the cost. I have a list of contractors involved in such acts. There is a strong link between contractors and corporators.”
“We will conduct a probe into this issue. Contracts of such firms will be terminated. The system of submitting GPS maps is very simple and it hardly takes two minutes to download the location map from Google. Engineers of the department concerned need only submit a copy of the map. Drainage work or road resurfacing will not be repeated in the same location,” assistant municipal commissioner Bakoria said.