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HindustanTimes Wed,22 Oct 2014

‘Corruption will be back with BMC’S old contracts system’

Kunal Purohit, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, July 08, 2013
First Published: 10:14 IST(8/7/2013) | Last Updated: 10:17 IST(8/7/2013)

Insiders believe that the about-turn by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) over allowing the old civil works contracts (CWC) system to be brought back will gradually erode the e-tendering system.

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Contractors have been actively trying to sabotage the current system of inviting e-tenders for minor civil works in the hope that the BMC will bring back the CWC system.

Now, with the BMC’s decision to bring it back in part, both contractors and corporators privately admit that the breakdown of the e-tendering system is just a matter of time.

Hindustan Times had earlier reported how contractors and corporators had been making intense efforts to sabotage this system by ensuring that work under the e-tendering system was either bid by dummy candidates or that the project did not take off despite the bid being bagged.

The BMC is now set to propose that work under Rs5 lakh be carried out by CWC contractors while more expensive work be carried out by inviting e-ten

WHAT IT IS

Under the system, the BMC appoints a contractor under two corporators.

These contractors carry out civil work in these 2 wards and work in close coordination with the corporators, whose funds are utilised in these works
CWC contractors build footpaths, toilets, small roads, install street lights, improve drainage etc in gaothans, koliwadas, adivasi padas. ders.

Contractors and corporators, however, are confident of circumventing this safeguard too.

“By allowing CWC contractors for up to Rs5lakh, the administration has kept the field open to manipulation. Now, contractors and corporators will carry out only those works that are less than that,” said a CWC contractor, not wishing to be named.

The contractor said, “If the work is more than Rs5lakh, then it will be broken down into many parts so that each part doesn’t exceed Rs5lakh.”

WHY IT IS A PROBLEM

In March last year, the municipal chief auditor had written a scathing internal note saying how crores were being spent without any visible results.

In October last year, the chief accountant (finance) wrote a similar note pointing to rampant corruption in the system.

The official alleged there was collusion between corporators, officials, contractors resulting in public money siphoned off.

Corporators have welcomed this move.

Standing committee chairman Rahul Shewale, who had made the demand, said, “The e-tendering system has been a failure and has repeatedly disappointed citizens, which is why we need the CWC system back.”

Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) group leader Dilip Patel said, “People have been angry about having to pay taxes but not getting any services in return because of the e-tendering system. Hence, our demand to get the old system back is just.”


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