The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) now wants to keep a close eye on the functioning of the 24 administrative wards in the city, following the road and storm water drains scams that rocked it over the past year.
After developing a uniform system to supervise the various engineering work carried out by various central agency departments, the vigilance department has now moved towards streamlining the 24 wards.
Over the years, the BMC has received complaints such as escalated price estimates made by ward officials before issuing tenders for minor engineering works. Ward level work includes repairing potholes, cleaning minor nullahs and box-drains, repairing minor interior roads, footpaths, laying of small water pipelines and others. These jobs will now be monitored.
The ward level work is mainly influenced by local corporators and legislators and this further leads to either a delay, duplication of work and a degree of unchecked arbitrariness.To curtail this and to develop uniformity, the civic body has created templates that will have to be filled in by all ward officials. The guidelines framed will be a standard operating procedure and are likely to be issued before the end of this week, said sources.
Explaining the move, a civic official said, “The templates will have to be filled at various stages — from the tender issued to the work being completed. Also a standard estimate for various ward level work is likely to be circulated so that whenever the vigilance department carries out random inspections, it can be compared with the base estimate, in cases of over-pricing.”
After the guidelines are issued, it is likely that the duplication of work on the same location, for example laying and re-laying a narrow lane because of the interference of local leaders will be curtailed, as every time work will have to be recorded. With increasing corruption in the civic body, this move is likely to bring in transparency, hoped officials involved with drafting the guidelines.
A senior civic officer from the vigilance department said, “Detailed guidelines and modalities have been formed to streamline the working of the wards. It will help provide better quality to the citizens as they have to be followed by the ward level officials. Progress will also have to be updated from time to time.”
However, after inspections carried out by the vigilance department, officers found to have neglected duty will be liable to face strict action, revealed sources.