‘Generous’ trench work bill raises eyebrows | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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‘Generous’ trench work bill raises eyebrows

mumbai Updated: Aug 16, 2012 00:53 IST
Alok Deshpande
Alok Deshpande
Hindustan Times
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The civic body's spend on filling trenches is on rise, and it is the contractors who seem to be benefitting most. This time, it’s the tender for maintenance of traffic signals in the island city.

While the BMC has allocated Rs. 4.88 crore to maintain 120 traffic signals and 46 flash posts in the city area, it will spend a whopping Rs. 3 crore to relay trenches that come up while laying signal cables.

“We have to dig the road while laying cables. There are a number of infrastructure projects in progress, and traffic signal cables are often chopped accidentally. We need money to bring the road surface back to its original shape,” said Girish Patil, executive engineer, roads, bridges and traffic.

Opposition members have termed the expenditure as waste of public money, while citizen activists have questioned why such a large amount has been allocated. “It is a waste of public money. There should have been a second thought before allocating such a huge amount,” said Javed Juneja of Congress.

“The 62% additional cost is too much. It seems that the civic body is sure about potential road problems, and that money will have to be spent,” said Rajkumar Sharma, member of Action for Good governance and Networking in India (AGNI).

Interestingly, the civic body has already awarded tenders worth Rs120 crore to contractors for filling trenches formed while laying any water, drainage or sewerage pipeline, among other things, or to lay utility lines by private companies.