Mumbai: Despite numerous irregularities in de-silting work, the blacklisted contractor had even failed to acquire No Objection Certificates (NOC) for dumping debris on vacant land. A senior civic official of Chembur (M east ward) confirmed that blacklisted contractor RE Infra private limited carried out illegal dumping activity and avoided getting NOC from several departments to avoid royalty charges.
The official added that the land at Govandi’s Rafi Nagar belonged to the collector where the contractor dumped his construction material. The official said, “The contractor was bound to pay Rs 1,250 per trip to the collector as royalty charges. Around 10,000 trips were made for which the contractor was supposed to pay Rs12.50 crore. However, the amount was never paid to the collectors department as there was no NOC for the work.”
The Free Press Journal had on April 27, reported how a blacklisted contractor found new ways to earn profit from de-silting. It has now been revealed that the contractor, while he worked on the de-silting project in 2014-2015, functioned without NOC from the forest department, Collectors department, Solid Waste Management department and Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MpCB) department.
Despite several complaints to ward officials by Right to Information activist Zahid Shaikh, no action has been taken against the contractor.
Shaikh said, “The contractors are not the only one fooling taxpayers but even the civic officials who are equally involved in the scam.” Shaikh has claimed that the royalty charges evaded by the contractor are around Rs 32 crore.
Shaikh added, “Had the contractor been fined for not acquiring permission from the SWM department, he would have had to pay a fine of Rs 20,000 per trip which totals up to Rs 20 crore for 10,000 trips.”