If you were expecting that Mumbai’s roads will get better now that the rains have all but gone, you might have to think again.
There were serious causes for concern as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Monday opened bids received for the construction of minor roads in the city,
Firstly, the quotations submitted by the contractors are between 12% and 29% below the BMC's estimate. This immediately puts a question mark on the quality of work that you can expect. Insiders reckon that contractors get hardly any profit margin when they bid at such low rates. This translates into poor quality of man and materials being employed, resulting in shoddy work.
Secondly, these works will be handled at the local ward office level, where monitoring of road construction is poor.
Roads that are less than 30 feet wide are classified as minor roads. The civic body has divided the Rs375 crore minor roads project into 24 different contracts, and each of the 24 civic wards will be allotted one contractor.
The highest that any contractor has bid is in the G South ward, where J Kumar’s bid is 12% below the civic body’s estimated cost. The lowest is in R South ward, where the bid submitted by Mukesh Brothers is 29.07% below the BMC’s estimate.