Ever wondered why roads in Delhi crumble, often leading to regular waterlogging and traffic jams? The performance audit report for 2010-11 by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) might have the answer. According to the report, all 28 roads built under the Member of Parliament Local Area Development (MPLAD) scheme by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) between 2004 and 2009 used low quality bitumen.
For the first time, samples were taken from these roads and a lab analysis was conducted. The audit concluded: "In all the cases, contractors used a lower quantity of bitumen, i.e. 5.86 kg/sqm as against the required quantity of 8.79 kg/sqm, leading to an excess payment of Rs0.66 crore to the contractors."
Sources said, the MCD in its Action Taken Report on the audit sent to the Delhi government on Tuesday said it had initiated the process of recovery of the excess payment and it will also get the variations (vis-à-vis the bill of quantity) approved by the competent authority.
According to the CAG report, scrutiny of works revealed that in 136 out of 622 works (22%), quantities of items used during execution of works varied from the bill of quantity (BOQ).
"These variations had not been approved by the competent authority, violating the provisions of the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) manual," the report had pointed out.
All works to be executed under the MPLAD scheme in Delhi are carried out by the MCD (the New Delhi Municipal Council falls under its jurisdiction). The funds are released through the Delhi government.
Mayor Rajni Abbi confirmed: "It is the same staff — including engineers directly responsible for roads — who carry out all works, including that under MPLAD funds."
However, a senior MCD official said, on conditions of anonymity, the MCD did take punitive measures against its engineers when found guilty.
"In 2006, as many as 17 executive engineers were removed from service for complicity in unauthorised construction," he added.