The civic body, which is looking to deal with the allegations made by a senior civic official of financial irregularities, shoddy work and a nexus between officials, corporators and contractors in ward-level contracts, is now considering putting an end to the system of appointing local civic work contractors (CWCs) for all civic works in an electoral ward.
Instead, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is thinking of tendering out each civic work, as and when required. If approved, it will mean a complete overhaul of the way in which civic works are assigned and carried out at local levels.
The internal note, written by civic chief accountant, Ram Dhas, and sent to municipal commissioner Subodh Kumar last week has alleged that the nexus of contractors and civic officials was pocketing the taxpayers’ money by “generating” work where there was no need and spending funds without visible results.
“As we have repeatedly burnt our fingers in the current system, we are contemplating doing away with appointing a single contractor to carry out all the works. Since the same contractor keeps doing all the work, it encourages corruption,” said a senior civic official, on condition of anonymity.
On an average, nearly Rs 900 crore has been spent every year for past five years on ward-level projects. Dhas’ note recommends that the while contract system be revamped.
From reducing the number of CWCs to allotting very little work to these contractors, the BMC is thinking of a number of steps to make the system less susceptible to corruption. Currently, for instance, the BMC tenders are open-ended and don’t fix a cost limit. The result: contractors and officials keep generating and proposing additional works that may not be necessary. Dhas’ note has proposed that the tender have a cost limit of Rs 10 crore.
The BMC also plans to take road repairs out of the purview of these contractors. Currently, road repairs constitute a major chunk of the contractors’ expenditure. Of the Rs 4,414 crore spent on ward-level work, the BMC has spent Rs 1,456 crore on roads in the city.
Despite repeated attempts, Kumar was unavailable for comment