The second phase of the inquiry into the road scam may be delayed.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is currently taking samples from the 208 roads under scanner for shoddy work by contractors. Civic officials fear, however, that corrupt officials may delay the process of compiling a report on the roads by another six months.
The fear arises from a similar situation during an inquiry into the nullah desilting scam. While authenticating documents submitted by contractors in that scam, civic authorities found 15% of them had been incorrectly verified, delaying the inquiry report.
This time, civic officials are worried ward-level officers overseeing the inquiry may manipulate the irregularities to show negligible wrongdoing by contractors.
In such cases, samples will have to be collected again and a new report will have to be drafted by a different set of officers, thereby delaying the inquiry process, sources said.
A civic official, on condition of anonymity, said, “There are more officers involved in the second phase of inquiry compared to the first phase where only 34 roads were checked. We can’t dismiss the possibility of corruption. The officers in the nullah desilting inquiry got away with manipulating documents because of a lack of staff, but not this time. The officers involved in this inquiry will be answerable to whatever they find during the course of investigation.”
Meanwhile, civic officials are still awaiting a reply to the show-cause notices sent to six contractors against whom an FIR was registered.