BMC chief Ajoy Mehta promised strict action against those guilty in poor nullah desilting work, which contributed to the June 19 floods in Mumbai.
After a report on the nullah desilting work exposed the nexus between officials and contractors, Mehta said the contracts need to be reworked.
“The new design of the contracts will be fair and transparent, it will provide better competition to the contractors. We will also find out whether there was negligence or if civic officials were directly involved with these fraudulent practices carried out by the contractors and take serious action against them,” Mehta said.
Mehta’s announcement comes after he ordered the additional municipal commissioner, Sanjay Deshmukh, to study the inquiry in shoddy desilting work and fix responsibilities.
He also assured necessary criminal and administrative action will be taken against those found guilty in an inquiry. Mehta said the necessary evidence is being collected.
To collect evidence and prove irregularities to form a case that will stand in the court of law, the civic body is in the process of f eeding data of around 56,000 trips that the desilting contractors claimed they made.
The report was tabled at the civic standing committee on Wednesday. Various fraudulent practices by contractors were exposed by the deputy municipal commissioner, Prakash Patil, who headed the inquiry panel, along with his team. Owing to heavy flooding at multiple locations on June 19, Mehta had ordered an inquiry into desilting of storm water drains (nullahs) in city that clogged within few hours of heavy rainfall.
“We are of the view that all contractros need to be examined and strict action like FIR should be registered against them and no one should be spared. Re-tendering of this contract needs to be done at the earliest,” said Yashodhar Phanse, standing committee chairman.
Mehta said this will help the civic body know where a particular truck started its trip, at what time and whether the same truck was also reported to be at a different place at the same time.
Mehta said a standard operating procedure for the Storm Water Drains department has to be fixed. Mehta has also pointed out closed trucks were not used, even though tender conditions mandated the use of such trucks.