‘Civil works contractors will not be allowed to carry out road works’ | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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‘Civil works contractors will not be allowed to carry out road works’

In a decision that might change the way your locality’s roads are made, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to not allow small-time civil works contractors (CWCs) to carry out any road works. This decision comes after the civic body spent nearly Rs1450 crores in the last five years to make new roads and repair them. Kunal Purohit reports.

mumbai Updated: Apr 01, 2012 01:31 IST
Kunal Purohit

In a decision that might change the way your locality’s roads are made, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to not allow small-time civil works contractors (CWCs) to carry out any road works. This decision comes after the civic body spent nearly Rs1450 crores in the last five years to make new roads and repair them.


BMC chief Subodh Kumar took the decision on Friday, after receiving recommendations from senior civic officials.

This is one of the many steps taken to ensure greater cross-checks and vigilance over the works that are carried out by CWCs, at the ward-level. “These CWCs have hardly any expertise, when it comes to road works. Also, road works lure contractors, officials and corporators the most because of the high expenditure involved,” said a civic official, who did not wish to be named.

The year 2009-10 saw the highest expenditure on road works, at Rs456 crore in one year alone. This was the year that saw collusion between contractors, corporators and officials at its peak. Being the election year, many corporators, driven by contractors, kept recommending extra roads to be taken up in that year, purportedly to woo the electorate ahead of two major elections held that year.

Although experts welcomed the suggestions, they felt much more needs to be done to clean the corruption-ridden system. Social audits, experts opined, were needed to bring in transparency. Former chief secretary DM Sukhtankar said, “Social audits are the need of the hour. You must make officials and contractors accountable to the public and to involve the public, you must bring in social audits.”

“You cannot possibly increase the vigilance only by telling more officials to keep a check on these contractors. You need to bring in the public and experts to monitor and supervise these works,” said retired deputy municipal commissioner PR Sanglikar.