Mumbai: After the accounts department of Mumbai Repair and Reconstruction Board was defrauded of Rs 61 lakh by a tainted contractor who submitted fake bills, the department has recently started a new method to process payments for contractors. The accounts department will re-verify all the submitted bills with the executive engineers of all the 15 divisions of the repair board which works under Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority.
The department will require the executive engineer’s certification to go ahead with the payment process. A senior official from the department said that the payment procedure will be prolonged since the contractor will require several certifications. He said, “We will also seek certifications through our online software Work Management System. The bills submitted to us will be sent to these engineers through the system and certifications will be done online. This will avoid any irregularities in the payment process.”
The scam was unearthed after the executive engineer of C ward (Chira Bazaar-Kalbadevi) wrote to the accounts department stating that the contractor, Shad Enterprises, has submitted fake bills of 91 work orders from April 2016 to August 2017. The tainted contractor extracted Rs 61 lakh from the accounts department by submitting these fake bills with forged signatures and stamps. The contractor claimed that he had conducted repairing and reconstruction of several transit camps at C ward.
The official revealed that the contractor had even forged signatures of junior engineers of the repair board while submitting the fake bills.
He said, “In reality, no repair work was done by the contractor. We have now also notified all 15 divisions about the changes in payment process. The entire certification process will be transparent and without the consent of executive engineers, the accounts department will not process the payments.”
The authority has also registered a First Information Report against the contractor with the Kherwadi Police Station. Also, a committee comprising of two senior officials are probing the matter internally.