BMC spending your money on unnecessary projects
In an internal note that alleges embezzlement and financial mismanagement, the civic body’s chief accountant (finance) Ram Dhas has told municipal commissioner Subodh Kumar that a nexus of contractors and civic officials is pocketing the taxpayers’ money by “generating” work where there is no need and spending funds without visible results.mumbai Updated: Mar 29, 2012 01:59 IST
In an internal note that alleges embezzlement and financial mismanagement, the civic body’s chief accountant (finance) Ram Dhas has told municipal commissioner Subodh Kumar that a nexus of contractors and civic officials is pocketing the taxpayers’ money by “generating” work where there is no need and spending funds without visible results.
The note, submitted last week, throws light on why infrastructure and civic amenities in Mum-bai are in such a mess despite the fact that the BMC is spending more than Rs 20,000 crore of taxpayers’ money running the city.
The note alleges that often the contractors create work and prepare estimates, which get approved by officials working in connivance with them. “Though huge expenditure is seen incurred [sic] on such petty works, no visible results are seen,” Dhas’ note said.
The same contractors have been carrying out civic works for years together, the note stated, adding that these contractors deliberately submit bills late to escape scrutiny.
“This note was brought out for improving the state of affairs. It was intended at ensuring that civic projects are carried out more effectively and money is spent in a better manner,” said Mohan Adtani, additional municipal commissioner. However, he refused to comment on the allegations made.
The note refers primarily to ward-level work on which the BMC spends on an average of Rs 500 crore a year. It explains why, after spending Rs 5,000 crore on building and maintaining the roads in the past five years, there were more than 6,000 potholes across Mumbai the last monsoon, as reported in a series of articles in Hindustan Times, starting July 2011.
The note, which has been circulated among senior civic officials, refers to civic works such as road, drain and toilet repairs, upkeep of civic schools and other civic buildings as well as work done in gardens and open spaces.
This is the second note that has been sent in the past seven months by senior BMC officials, raising concerns about irregularities and corruption in civic projects. Last September, the municipal chief auditor had sent an internal note to the civic standing committee blaming BMC officials for the poor state of infrastructure, alleging that they were working in collusion with errant contractors.
Corporators, upset with allegations in the note that they are conniving with contractors, are demanding a public apology from Dhas.
“It’s not right to make such wild allegations. If the civic administration has evidence of any such collusion between corporators, contractors and officials, it should present it before the standing committee,” said Rahul Shewale, standing committee chairman and Shiv Sena leader.