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Mumbai road scam: BMC issues notices to 7 contractors, blacklists them

Final report says 200 roads, on which the civic body spent ₹1,000 crore, are substandard

mumbai Updated: Mar 19, 2017 00:03 IST
Sanjana Bhalerao
An inquiry team submitted its trial report on the second phase of the roads scam investigation to civic chief Ajoy Mehta on Friday.
An inquiry team submitted its trial report on the second phase of the roads scam investigation to civic chief Ajoy Mehta on Friday.(HT File Photo)

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will on Monday send show cause notices to seven more contractors named in the road scam. The civic body has also blacklisted them.

An inquiry team submitted its trial report on the second phase of the roads scam investigation to civic chief Ajoy Mehta on Friday. In the second phase of the probe, the BMC inspected 200 roads on which Rs1,000 crore had been spent.

“Rs1,000 crore is the quantum of the loss suffered, as all the roads inspected were found to be substandard,” said a senior civic official.

The report stated that road work undertaken by seven of 10 contractors was below par. The remaining contractors’ work was ‘tolerable’. Sources said civic officials have been advised to take criminal action against the contractors.

After a show cause notice is issued, contractors usually get 15 to 20 days to explain the irregularities revealed in the report. Blacklisting the contractors bars them from bidding on projects until the case is resolved.

Similar to the initial report, the detailed probe report has alleged irregularities. For instance, the bottom layer, which is needed for roads to last longer, is missing in all 200 roads that were inspected.Uniform action is likely to be taken against all the contractors involved in the scam.

“Owing to irregularities in the crust layers, which were not constructed according to design and tender conditions, the shelf life of the roads is reduced,” said a senior civic official, who did not wish to be identified.“Each road will have to be relaid,” he added.

The initial probe found that work on 34 roads was of substandard quality. Six contractors and two third-party contractors were blacklisted and are currently facing police action. Last year, the civic body had also decided to withhold payments to Rs908 crore 16 contractors. As a precautionary measure, Rs572 crore of the total amount was not paid owing to malpractices and irregularities in laying the roads.

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