The civic body will conduct an internal inquiry into the increase in cost of road projects in the city, as pointed out by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India.
In its report, the CAG had also criticised the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for increasing spending an additional Rs702 crore of taxpayers’ money without following procedure.
On the basis of a directive issued by chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, a committee headed by additional municipal commissioner Rajiv Jalota is being set up to probe the expenditures incurred on road projects and identify the people responsible for the increase in cost.
HT has been reporting on the sorry state of the city’s roads, the shoddy work carried out by civic contractors and the irregularities in handing out contracts in its ongoing series, ‘Mumbai’s pothole horror’.
“Since large amount of taxpayers’ money has been misused, it is important to investigate the matter and bring to book those who were involved in any malpractice,” said Dnyanraj Nikam, Congress leader in the BMC, who had initially demanded a CID probe into the matter.
The CAG had scrutinised road works between December 2009 and October 2011 and had criticised the Sena-BJP ruled BMC for the poor state of the roads during this period.
Sources from the CM’s and civic chief Sitaram Kunte’s office confirmed the development. “The committee will conduct an inquiry into the cost escalations pointed out by the CAG report. In certain cases, the variations were reported because the scope of work had increased and inviting fresh tenders would have been very time consuming,” said a senior civic official.