Even as municipal commissioner Subodh Kumar tried to reinforce his strong stance against unaccounted for cost variations of projects by declaring that he won’t tolerate these any more, his administration put up two proposals of such variations on the same day.
A nonchalant standing committee, comprising corporators of all political parties, passed one of them, having a cost variation of almost double the amount of the original tender.
A buoyant Kumar, on Friday said, “There are different types of cost variations. One is the escalation due to cost of the project going higher than the presumptive cost, the second is when a delay in the project ups the cost. Both can be considered. However, cases where the scope of work is increased without tendering will not be tolerated.”
Even as he spoke, more than Rs13 crore, of precious taxpayer money, was gifted away to a private contractor, who was awarded extra work without bringing out tenders for it.
A road widening and improvement contract was awarded to a private contractor, Rupesh Corporation, for some roads in the L ward at the cost of Rs16.89 crore. The contractor was, in February 2009, gifted roadwork for an additional six roads, without tendering. The cost went up to Rs24 crore.
A senior civic official said, “Is the civic chief trying to imply that he doesn’t know what his team is doing?”