Yuva Sena leader writes to BMC chief posing 10 questions; also inquires about timeline of all roads proposed, permissions, NOCs being sought from agencies
Aaditya Thackeray said it is unfair to issue tenders worth over R6,000 crore for non-emergency works in absence of elected representatives. Pic/PTI
After questioning the government over the high cost of cement concrete roads in the city on Friday, Yuva Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray again raised the issue on Monday, by asking the BMC, who sanctioned Rs 6,080 crore for roads. He also challenged the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to explain the alleged cartelisation of the five contracts for five contractors.
In a letter to BMC chief Iqbal Singh Chahal on Monday, Thackeray has asked 10 questions. He sought to know who proposed 400 km of CC road works and who sanctioned R6,080 crore for them. Was it the Municipal Commissioner/Administrator or the Chief Minister/Urban Development minister?
He mentioned that it is unfair in a democracy for an opaque administration to issue tenders worth over R6,000 crore for non-emergency works in absence of elected representatives, when there is no COVID-19 emergency or lockdown. Multiple roadworks are going on in the city, and we are in the second half of the proper season for road works, he wrote. These tenders were due for around September last year, he mentioned in the letter.
'What about other schemes?
Thackeray also asked where would R 6,080 crore be drawn or diverted from. Would this affect any other schemes? Does the budget not require sanction of the Standing Committee and the General Body of the BMC?
Thackeray also inquired about the timeline of all the roads proposed and permissions and NOCs from all relevant agencies being sought.
Thackeray has also raised a question over the 8 per cent hike sought by the bid winners, over and above the revised schedule of rates.
The former guardian minister of Mumbai suburbs also posed a question on the 'national experience' that contractors allegedly have and where these contractors worked in cities similar to Mumbai. “Working on greenfield highways is different than working in cities like Mumbai. How many kms of city roads have they made and at what rates in other cities?” asked Thackeray.
BMC issues statement
The BMC clarified in a statement on Monday that the proposed concretisation of roads is as per administrative procedure and there isn't any discrepancy in tendering process.
It clarified that the 397 km roads selected for improvement, were suggested by the then corporators, local public representatives and as per the recommendation given by concerned Assistant Commissioners. It further mentioned that as of Monday as per the MMC Act 1888 Clause 69 (C), the government of Maharashtra has appointed the Administrator (Municipal Corporation/ Standing Committee) and accordingly, as per clause 6(C)(1) the tenders are invited by obtaining the necessary sanctions from competent authority.
The BMC said expenditure for 5 per cent mobilisation advance will be incurred in the current financial year and further budget provision will be made in the coming years in a staggered fashion. Time period for the proposed concretisation of roads is 24 months (excluding monsoon). Traffic police NOCs and other requisite departmental NOCs will be obtained at the earliest to start the works immediately.
Since poor response was received for tenders with rates of USOR 2018, the rates were revised considering current market rate. As per current guidelines, GST is excluded while arriving at the rates, said an official from the civic body.
The said tenders are invited by considering the good quality of work and highly experienced contractors. Many of the contractors have work experience in cities across the country.