Is the civic body favouring errant contractors?
So it would seem going by what a reply to a Right To Information (RTI) application has thrown up.
On June 24, civic activist G.R. Vora had filed an RTI application about open manholes and a trench on a footpath opposite Sion Hospital.
Vora’s plea sought to know what action the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) officials had taken against the errant contractor allotted the task.
While Vora has received a reply for action taken against the open manholes, the BMC has ignored the complaint about the trench on the same footpath.
The reply to the RTI application points to discrepancies on the BMC’s part.
While the contractor should have been fined Rs 3.5 lakh for leaving the manholes open, he was made to pay only Rs 39,800.
Also, the BMC has fined the contractor only for the lesser offence of not fixing barricades around the open manholes.
The graver one — leaving manholes open for 14 days — has been ignored.
Vora said he filed the RTI application after several complaints to the BMC failed to attract any action against the contractor who had kept the manholes open while laying cable lines.
“Often, children and senior citizens fell into the open manholes. Despite numerous complaints to the BMC helpline, nothing was being done,” said Vora.
“It is shocking to see such improper implementation of rules,” said Vora, who has filed a complaint with the ward office against the officer who filed an incorrect inspection report. “This is a waste of public funds. The authorities should
abstain from favouring contractors.”
Vora has requested the ward officer to penalise the officer concerned for not imposing a proper fine on the contractor.
The RTI reply, which came after over 100 days from the date of filing of the application, has alleged improper
implementation of the RTI tool.
As per rules, an applicant should receive a reply within 30 days.