Councillors pile pressure ahead of civic polls
Mumbai : In a bid to woo voters for the forthcoming civic elections, councillors from renowned political parties are pressurising the road department rushing them to complete the post-monsoon road repair work of 1004 roads before the civic elections.
The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) has been unable to fix the poor condition of roads due to heavy monsoons this year. The repair work of 1,004 roads finally began from October that will cost Rs 2700 crore.
A civic official from the road department, on request of anonymity said, “We have been getting calls from several political parties forcing us to complete the road repair work quickly. It is not easy to carry out the repair work on the busy roads of Mumbai, which deals with daily traffic congestion.” The civic officials said they are working even on holidays as the workload has increased due to the delay of traffic permissions for specific roads.
When asked if there was political pressure, Sanjay Darade, Chief Engineer of the roads department, who did not want to be dragged into controversy said,
The MCGM has undertaken the widening of 305 roads in the city in its first phase of the road repair project.
The civic body, which received flak for the shoddy road repairs which resulted in a scam of Rs 950 crore. The total cost of the project was Rs 1700 crore in which 16 contractors have been blacklisted and First Information Reports was registered against 6 contractors, civic officials and Third Party Auditors. The six contractors accused in the road repair scam are Mahavir Road Infrastructure, KR Construction, Jay Kumar Infra, Relcon Infraprojects, RPS Infraprojects and RK Madhani.
The multi-crore scam was unearthed after Mayor Snehal Ambekar ordered a probe into the road repair work last year. The inquiry, headed by S. Kori, Chief Engineer (Bridges), was divided into two reports. The first report included the inspection of 34 roads whereas the second report involved the inspection of 200 roads.
Rs 950-cr scam, but BMC learns nothing
The civic body had received flak for shoddy road repairs which resulted in a scam of Rs 950 crore. The total cost of the project was Rs 1,700 crore in which 16 contractors have been blacklisted and First Information Reports have been registered. The civic body has reassigned the tainted contractors with this year’s road repair project.
The Free Press Journal had previously reported that the contractors implicated in the road repair scam have been roped in for this year’s road repair work as well.