Nullah widening projects: External auditors will scrutinise all projects costing over Rs 5 crore

Aug 27, 2013, 00:30 IST | Sujit Mahamulkar

After managing to save itself from getting ripped off by contractors for a whopping Rs 95 crore, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has decided to hire external auditors to analyse nullah widening and deepening work as well as big budget projects like the Brihanmumbai Storm Water Drain (Brimstowad), Mithi River widening and construction of a retaining wall

The contractors had submitted fake bills for providing their services to the Sewage Operation (SO) department after colluding with its officials.

The proposal would be tabled before the Standing Committee on Wednesday, seeking sanction of funds worth Rs 15 crore (Rs 5 crore each for eastern and western suburbs) for appointing third party auditors.

Laxman Vhatkar, chief engineer of the Storm Water Drain department, said, “The auditors will be scrutinising new projects worth over Rs 5 crore.”

Commenting on the proposal, standing committee chairperson Rahul Shewale said, “We will discuss the proposal and then will decide whether to clear it or reject it. The project will be tabled before the committee on Wednesday.”

The BMC has filed an FIR with the police and the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) last year, after it discovered that contractors had faked bills worth Rs 95 crore against the work of repairing sewer lines and manholes, which were never executed. The BMC then blacklisted five contractors.

The work was allotted between 2005 and 2008, and they had submitted bills way back in 2008.

Investigations revealed that contractors had joined hands with a few civic officials from the SO department to submit the bogus bills.

Big money
Amount spent on widening, deepening of nullahs

Area                                 Cost
South Mumbai               Rs 790 cr
Eastern suburbs           Rs 1,268 cr
Western suburbs          Rs 925 cr 

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