A Swiss firm appointed by the civic body to monitor ongoing roadwork in the city has prepared a series of audit reports which reveal how the contractors are filching public money by cutting corners and using substandard materials.
The auditor, SGS India Private Limited, was appointed in October last year following criticism of the bad state of roads in the city. The audit covers roads being built under a Rs950-crore project.
It has found samples of inferior-quality Dense Bituminous Macadam, a material used to ensure pothole-free roads, at various locations. The auditors also found contractors using substandard materials for the foundation of the road, while at some sites, the contractors are cutting corners by digging up the road to only half the required depth.
These malpractices, experts say, are why the city’s roads, despite exorbitant expenditure, have been crumbling much before their liability periods expire.
Professor SL Dhingra, Institute Chair professor, department of civil engineering, IIT-Bombay, said after perusing the reports, “These irregularities are the perfect recipe for a bad road. They should not exist at all if the city wants good roads.”
Additional municipal commissioner Aseem Gupta agreed that the findings are of a serious nature. “The major difference in our approach to making roads now is that these irregularities are being detected, and rectified. Earlier, they were detected after the road was made. They were then rectified through financial penalties, which doesn’t quite serve the purpose.”