Brushing aside objections raised by the Opposition Congress and MNS, the ruling Shiv Sena-BJP combine in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) pushed through the controversial proposal to give Rs 577 crore worth of road construction contracts to the same set of contractors who have been building Mumbai's roads for years.
The Sena-BJP alliance used its majority to clear the proposal ignoring the three-hour debate during which the Opposition raised questions over giving contracts to those who have done a shoddy job in the past.
The ruling parties in the BMC are facing criticism for the poor state of Mumbai's roads despite the civic body spending hundreds of crores recovered from taxpayers. To make matters worse, the ruling combine decided to give fresh road construction contracts to those responsible for bad quality roads.
Congress corporators said the administration had tweaked and diluted the tender conditions so as to facilitate certain contractors to get the tender.
"The eight contractors being given the contract are those who have been penalised for poor quality work. Why is the civic body shying away from blacklisting these contractors?" Rajhans Singh, leader of the Opposition, said.
Sameer Desai (Congress) said the civic body put bizarre clauses in the tender conditions, reducing the scope of competition. Corporators also said even after giving away such a huge contract, the civic body could not promise its citizens that the roads would be pothole-free next in the next monsoon.
"We have kept all aspects in mind and have changed the design of the roads, have made supervision stricter and have also laid down stringent guidelines for contractors executing the work," said additional municipal commissioner, Aseem Gupta. "If the city gets new roads in the next eight months then it's a very good proposal," said Sunil Prabhu, leader of the House, on Thursday.