CAG report shows flaws, Fadnavis admits to need for inquiry into monorail

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Apr 18, 2015 22:47 IST

Taking note of the glaring loopholes pointed out in the Comptroller and Auditor General of India’s report for 2014, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said a detailed inquiry needs to be initiated into the monorail project.

Hindustan Times had reported how the monorail project has faltered, from the non-transparent tendering process to faulty designs and delays by contractors.

“The CAG has raised important questions on the route of the monorail and its faulty design. A detailed inquiry needs to be conducted. For now, the CAG report will go to the parliamentary accounts committee (PAC) and I am sure they will take the right decision,” said Fadnavis, in an interview to ABP Majha.

The report slams the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) for approving faulty designs that could compromise on the durability of the monorail and for not pulling up contractors for missing the deadlines. The observations were substantiated by the two power breakdowns in the recent past.

The CAG pointed out how the monorail’s guideway design does not conform to the axle load and increase in load could damage the rail tracks.

It also highlighted several errors in the tendering process: the feasibility study for the project was awarded to Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES) in 2008 without inviting a global tender.

Also, after the initial bid by Larsen and Toubro and Malaysian firm Scomi Engineering (LTSE) was found to be 93% higher than RITES’ estimate, a new consultant -- Louis Berger Group -- was asked to reassess the cost. The second consultant was appointed after opening the bid, which was an irregularity, it said.

The CAG said the 38-month delay in the first phase of the project and the 52-month delay in the second phase have accounted for liquidated damages of Rs 153.15 crore, which the MMRDA had levied on LTSE till November 2014.

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