The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) allegedly helped a Mumbai-based firm linked to BJP president Nitin Gadkari by reducing a fine of Rs. 10.19 crore to Rs. 80 lakh for delaying a road-building project after Gadkari took over as party chief in January 2010.
Ideal Road Builders (IRB), which had extensive dealings with the Purti group of companies run by Gadkari, signed a Rs. 133-crore contract to build a Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) in the city in 2007.
IRB, which bagged the contract to build the first phase of the BRTS, failed to complete its work by the stipulated deadline of September 2010 and was therefore fined Rs. 10.19 crore by the municipal commissioner. But this was reduced to Rs. 80 lakh by the corporation.
Leader of the opposition in the AMC Badruddin Sheikh of the Congress said, “The penalty was imposed in accordance with the conditions of the contract. The company completed the work almost a year after the deadline.”
Sheikh added, “Despite our opposition, the ruling BJP reduced the penalty for IRB, which received contracts worth Rs. 211 crore from the BJP-controlled AMC. The penalty was reduced at Gadkari’s behest.”
“Even the municipal commissioner could do nothing.”
AMC commissioner Guruprasad Mohapatra was not available for comment.