Road repair work in Mumbai will have to wait after BMC unearths Rs 150 crore scam

Updated: Dec 15, 2017, 09:30 IST | Laxman Singh

After BMC unearths scam where repair work worth Rs 150 crore was sanctioned for good roads, authorities decide to cancel proposal

A major scam, which could have cost the civic body nearly Rs 150 crore, has been nipped in the bud after BMC authorities cancelled several road repair projects on learning that most of the listed roads were in mint condition, and did not require any kind of work. Standing Committee members have now demanded action against the consultant and road engineers, who suggested and approved the list of roads for repairs.

Proposed repairs of city roads were cancelled after they were found to be in good conditionProposed repairs of city roads were cancelled after they were found to be in good condition

Recently, a proposal for repairing roads in the city and suburbs worth Rs 150 crore had been passed in the Standing Committee. However, after BMC commissioner Ajoy Mehta had ordered local ward officers to inspect the roads following complaints of misuse of public funds, it was learnt that repair work at many spots was unwarranted.

On Wednesday, civic authorities cancelled the proposal. Vinod Chithore, chief engineer of roads and traffic department, confirmed the development. "The proposed repairs of a few roads have been cancelled after they were found to be in good condition," he said.

What has surprised many Standing Committee members is that while the civic body has prevented a major scam, it hasn't announced any action against the guilty. "The civic administration claims that they have saved public money, but why is it not taking action against the consultant, who prepared the proposal, and the engineers who gave the sanction?" asked Ravi Raj, Opposition leader and Congress corporator.

Members of the committee also expressed concern over the fact that the decision could affect work on roads that were urgently in need of repairs.

Another member of the Standing Committee, Rais Shaikh, who is corporator of the Samajwadi Party, said, "The administration is proactive in finding roads that are in good condition, but what about those that are actually in terrible condition and genuinely needs repairs? In Byculla, several roads are in poor condition and I have been constantly following up with the road department to start repairs."

Following an outcry over this development, Standing Committee Chairman Ram-esh Korgaonkar has ordered an inquiry into the matter. "This is a very serious issue and members have raised genuine questions. The BMC administration must probe this matter and submit a report to the Standing Committee in the next meeting."

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