BHOPAL: For the last two years Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) has been dithering over clearing payments to contractors. As such the amount has now gone up to Rs 150 crore. On its part, the BMC blames falling revenue collection and lack of grant from government for the delay.
Owing to the delay in payment, contractors have stopped work in many wards resulting in broken roads.
The road to new landfill site Adampur chhawni too has been hit by the delay. Even projects announced by former Mayor Alok Sharma for renovation of crematoriums in Bhopal have hit the hurdle due to non-payment. Besides, payments roads in Karond and zone numbers 10, 11 and surrounding areas built under CM infra phase 1 and phase 2 too are yet to be released by the BMC officials.
The delay in payment has hit almost all departments, including water works, civil department, parks, health or any other. Several projects, including nullahs at Panchsheel Nagar, Nirala Nagar and Gomti colony, are still pending.
After a minor drowned in Panchsheel Nagar nullah in 2018, the BMC decided to build a wall around such nullahs. However, this project too has been hit by paucity of funds. The project of developing left-turns to prevent clogging at traffic signals too has met the same fate.
Projects running at snail’s pace
Major projects running at snail’s pace for the last three years include road between MP Nagar and Ganesh temple, widening of road from Peer Gate to VIP Road, incomplete CC work on roads in all wards, development of hawkers’ corners in all zones, development work at Bhadbhada Vishram Ghat, Chhola vishram ghat and Subhash Nagar vishram ghat.
Contractors who worked with civil department in the Swacch Bharat Mission for beautification of the city two years back are still waiting for payment.
Former corporator Rakesh Jain said that he has repeatedly written to commissioner seeking release the payment for concretisation of roads in wards. However, all went in vain. Hence roads in all blocks are broken, he said.
Jaidev Chouhan, president of contractor’s association said we are yet to receive dues for two to three-year-old projects. BMC officials sanction new projects without clearing our dues. We are forced to run from the pillar to the post for our payments, he says.
AJ Ekka, additional commissioner in the BMC blames low revenue collection this year. He said that due to corona they have not received government grant thus delaying payment