Mumbai: Acting upon complaints by citizen groups and activists, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) Govandi (M-east) ward issued a notice to blacklisted contractor RE Infra imposing a fine of Rs 42.81 crore for illegally dumping construction waste.

Free Press Journal was the first to reveal that the blacklisted contractor sold construction waste to contractors de-silting the drains to add weight and increase the number of trips from the drains to the dumping grounds.

A senior civic official requesting anonymity told FPJ that the department will set up a probe against the practice of mixing of construction waste and silt carried out by contractors. He said, “Some contractors take advantage of our absence on the site and carry out such irregularities. Such instances have earlier been reported to the department. However, we failed to get concrete proof against these contractors. Once we are able to get some evidence that can prove the existence of such practice than we can take strict action against them.”

According to the notice (a copy of which is with FPJ) issued by the Solid Waste Management department, the tainted contractor illegally dumped debris near Rafi Nagar Nullah at Govandi. Interestingly, the contractor, RE Infra, was awarded the de-silting work of Rafi Nagar nullah before he was blacklisted.

According to Right to Information activist Zahid Shaikh, on whose report the officials have penalised the blacklisted contractor, the debris is given by developers to clear their construction site. He added, “The excavated material is mixed with the silt and is sent to the dumping grounds. The contractor has stocked this material for the past one year. This is a major reason behind silt not being removed from drains of the city.”

The contractor has now been fined by M east ward officials for 10,704 vehicle trips carrying construction waste. The fine includes registration fess of Rs 20,000 per trip for dumping construction waste on permitted vacant land.

In addition, SWM’s permission of Construction & Demolition Clean Up Fine of Rs 20,000 per trip has been included in the total fine.