How did you spend our money? BMC chief asks the Railways

Updated: May 21, 2019, 07:37 IST | Chetna Sadadekar | Mumbai

For years the corporation has paid CR and WR for civic works on their premises before the monsoon; Railway officials were to send written reply on break-up but haven't yet done so

The BMC pays the Railways for cleaning culverts, nullahs etc before the rains. Representation pic
The BMC pays the Railways for cleaning culverts, nullahs etc before the rains. Representation pic

For years the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has paid the Railways for the cleaning of culverts and nullahs etc on their premises, and to construct bridges used for vehicular traffic. Now the BMC has asked them for a certificate of expenditure. The new BMC commissioner, Pravin Pardeshi, has asked them (Railways) to give a break-up of the expenditure. The issue was discussed during the joint meeting for monsoon preparation on Friday, and Railway officials have agreed to send their written reply. However, it has not yet been sent to the BMC.

The works carried out

As per the BMC's records, since 2015, the Storm Water Drains Department (SWD) has paid nearly Rs 15 crore to the Central and Western Railways administration for de-silting work alone. Even this year, the civic body has paid around Rs 2 crore to the Railways (both WR and CR), to carry out the pre-monsoon work on their premises.

The Bridges Department of the BMC has paid the Railways for repairs and reconstruction of the road over bridges in the city. But there has been no audit or report of the amount spent on those bridges given to the BMC on regular basis, revealed sources. Now the civic commissioner has asked the Railways to show what they have done with the BMC's money.

Civic chief wants break-up

Before the funds are given out, there is a joint inspection by Railways officials and BMC officials to identify the locations where work is needed. After this, an approximate amount is paid to the Railways in advance by BMC, so that the work is done before the monsoon. But despite demanding the audit report of the work several times, there has been no specific expense certificate provided by the Railways, said officials.

A senior civic official said, "In the meeting held on Friday, the commissioner instructed the Railways to provide us with the details of the work and amount spent, which was agreed to by their officials. Last year, they had just updated us where the work was done, instead of the amount spent. We are never informed if there is a shortage of funds given by us."

Waiting for the response

SWD Deputy Chief Engineer VH Khandkar said, "We have written to the Railways asking them to update us on the amount spent by them for pre-monsoon work, and are awaiting their response." Divisional Railway Manager SK Jain was not available for comment.

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