Mumbai: System tracking nullah desilting work tampered with, reveals report | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Mumbai: System tracking nullah desilting work tampered with, reveals report

Contractors tampered with a tracking system the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) put in place to keep a watch on nullah desilting, according to the nullah inquiry committee’s report.

mumbai Updated: Sep 13, 2015 17:48 IST
Laxman Singh
People-walk-through-flooded-roads-as-vehicles-are-seen-stuck-in-a-traffic-jam-due-to-heavy-rains-in-Mumbai-Reuters-Photo
People-walk-through-flooded-roads-as-vehicles-are-seen-stuck-in-a-traffic-jam-due-to-heavy-rains-in-Mumbai-Reuters-Photo

Contractors tampered with a tracking system the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) put in place to keep a watch on nullah desilting, according to the nullah inquiry committee’s report.

The Vehicle Tracking System (VTS) that was to track trucks carrying silt has failed, as contractors tampered with them and manipulated records, according to the 145-page inquiry report submitted by the five-member committee, formed after the June 19 floods. The panel suggested shutting down the privately-run VTS.

The report, a copy of which is with HT, has also pointed out that contractors made changes in VTS records to hide facts. It said the civic body should develop its own tracking system to avoid such manipulation.

“The VTS is not foolproof and needs improvement. The role of the system will be probed thoroughly,” said Ajoy Mehta, the municipal commissioner.

This failure raises doubts about how well the system is being used by other departments, such as solid waste management.

The report has also highlighted how the private contractor operating the VTS has changed his statement several times when questioned by the committee members. The system was manipulated to such an extent that one truck carrying silt has been shown at two places for two different contracts on the VTS, said a senior civic official, not wishing to be named.

Following the report, BMC officials have seized all VTS data to analyse them.

A committee members, on the condition of anonymity, said, “As VTS is manned by private contractors, civic officials have little control over the system. In several cases, we found contractors interfered with the VTS and made changes.”

Congress corporator and Opposition leader in BMC, Devendra Amberkar, said, “Just like in the SWD, there is a VTS in SWM. There could be manipulation and tampering here. In SWM, contractors are supposed to carry garbage to dumping grounds and payment depends on the trip the vehicles make. There are strong chances of adding more trips.”