Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) corporator on Thursday alleged a Rs900-crore scam in the solid waste management (SWM) department of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
Sandeep Deshpande, corporator from Dadar, alleged discrepancies in the log-sheets of the vehicle tracking system (VTS) and the transportation of garbage by vehicles without fitness certificates.
In the standing committee meeting, Deshpande demanded an inquiry and suspension of the officials involved in the violation of norms. In the past two years, the BMC has uncovered two major scams in the roads department and the storm water drains department.
According to documents accessed by MNS corporator Sujatha Pathak for the N (Ghatkopar), S (Bhandup) and T (Mulund) wards, vehicles that do not have a mandatory fitness certificate from the regional transport office (RTO) were being used to collect garbage.
Pathak accessed the data through the Right to Information (RTI).
She has been collating the data since she spotted irregular garbage pick-up from her neighbourhood in Mulund.
In the N ward, a vehicle with the same registration number has been recorded as a mini-compactor and a large compactor, Pathak said. Another vehicle with the same registration number is shown to be operating simultaneously at two locations, she said.
In the T ward, a large compactor vehicle is shown to have completed a shift within 15 seconds. In some cases, vehicles which were supposed to be stationed at the RTO for fitness certificates were shown on-duty at dumping grounds.
Deshpande said, “What has been happening in these three wards is the modus-operandi across 24 wards. Contractors and officials are hand-in-glove. We have written to the mayor, the municipal commissioner and the chief minister, but the administration is yet to set-up an inquiry.”
The BMC has allotted contracts for transporting garbage to the dumping grounds between May 2012 and June 2017 to 43 companies at a cost of Rs900 crore, of which, Rs111 crore is for the N, S and T wards.
Yashodhar Phanse, standing committee chairman, asked the administration to examine the documents and sought a reply in the next meeting.
A senior civic official from the municipal commissioner’s office said, “We have asked the SWM department to install CCTV cameras, photos of the vehicle number plates and generate electronic receipts. We will analyse the data to see if there is any mismatch and then take a call on the investigation.”
In October 2015, mayor Snehal Ambekar wrote a confidential letter to civic chief Ajoy Mehta alleging a scam in the roads department. She also demanded a probe into the scam
Following this, Mehta had ordered a probe on the road works
The inquiry revealed malpractices in 34 roads, where it was found that the foundation for the road was flawed and the works were not carried as per the tender conditions
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation registered an FIR against the six contractors for violating rules
A full-fledged inquiry report on 200 roads is still under process
The Mumbai police have arrested 26 people, which include three senior civic officials and employees of the six tainted road contractors and two third-party auditors till date
Municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta ordered an inquiry in the storm water drains department after the city was flooded on June 19 and 20 in 2015
A 145-page inquiry report pointed out several irregularities into the desilting of nullahs
The civic body suspended 14 civic officials, including chief engineer (vigilance), and registered an FIR against seven contractors
Recently, the civic chief demoted, penalised and sacked officials, who were found guilty