What do you do when a civic agency violates the contract of providing quality commute to its citizens? And we mean this literally.
One reason why quality roads remain a distant dream for Delhi is because a number of contractors who were blacklisted by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) for executing inferior quality work have slowly made a comeback. This, before completing the period for which they were blacklisted.
In the past five years alone, the civic agency has blacklisted more than 70 contractors for carrying out inferior quality work.
As per data provided by MCD, nine contractors who were blacklisted by the civic agency for a period of two to five years, were allowed to participate in the tendering process again.
The defaulting contractors were identified by the civic agency after an examination of the extent of work carried out by them. MCD engineering department then blacklisted them.
However, just a few months later, these contractors were allowed by MCD to participate in the tendering process again.
For instance, one contractor blacklisted for two years in 2008 was allowed for tendering after just four months.
“We do blacklist contractors if they produce inferior quality work. However, at times, after we blacklist a contractor, no one else is ready to take over that work and we can’t leave it half done. So we allow such contractors to at least complete the work. But this is not the norm,” said a senior MCD official requesting anonymity.
To worsen matters and give Delhi a bumpier, dustier ride, a number of blacklisted contractors make a comeback by registering themselves in their spouses’ names. “After being blacklisted, the contractor simply registers himself in another name. The company and the workers remain the same. In such a situation, what is the use of blacklisting them? They continue to do the same inferior quality work,” said Jagdish Mamgain, chairman, MCD Works committee.
The civic agency had recently decided to ask contractors applying to MCD to furnish the names of their wives and details of any firm(s) registered in their wives’ name.
However, this has not been implemented successfully.
“We have been receiving a lot of complaints of blacklisted contractors re-gaining entry in MCD. We have asked the engineering department to keep tabs on them,” said Yogender Chandolia, chairman, MCD Standing Committee.
Another reason for bad quality road work is that a number of contractors who carry out road-related and other works for MCD have small-scale set-ups. Generally, they lack the required manpower and staff, which affects the quality of the work executed by them. “We will now ask them to give us details of all their employees, too,” said a senior MCD official.