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How Rs 23 cr job costs Rs 83 crore

india Updated: Aug 26, 2009 02:37 IST
Sujit Mahamulkar
Sujit Mahamulkar
Hindustan Times
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The civic chief is now flouting his own rule.

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Commissioner Jairaj Phatak is preparing a proposal to revise a contract for concretisation of four roads, originally estimated at Rs 23.25 crore, to Rs 80.93 crore – a nearly 250 per cent increase.

In a circular issued on June 6, Phatak had said no more than 15 per cent variation (plus or minus) would be acceptable in any new contract proposal, even announcing this in a Standing Committee meeting in July.

The committee had cleared the original proposal in February 2007 for two years – till December 2009. The upward revision is due to the inclusion of additional construction of two bridges on the Mithi river, both about 80 m in length.

Phatak said, “We’ve decided to relax the circular till the Assembly elections are over because after the election code of conduct comes into force, it will be difficult to clear the proposal. Development work should not stop, so we will freeze these norms only after elections.”

Any contract above Rs 50,000 awarded by the BMC needs the invitation of bids and the contract is awarded to the lowest bidder. In practice, bids are invited, then approved by the Standing Committee, after which fresh proposals are propped up, increasing the scope of the original contract.

Ravindra Waikar, chairman of the Standing Committee said, “Work should not get delayed just because of the elections. And the same contractor is doing work in a nearby area, so this proposal is acceptable.”