The civic body has assured that delays in several road works in the city will not lead to cost escalations.
In 2008-09, the BMC had approved cost escalations worth Rs. 683 crore in roads department alone. Cost escalations occur when projects remain unfinished after the deadline lapses and contractors demand additional payment, in case the delay is the fault of the agency concerned.
In this case, many contractors are claiming the road works are getting delayed as the BMC hasn’t taken adequate measures to ensure traffic police agree to keep roads shut while relaying work is going on.
Many believe the reason behind the delay is the civic body’s decision to carry out work on 703 roads in the city all at the same time, making it hard for contractors to manage limited resources.
For instance, in one ward, a contractor was responsible for as many as 60 minor roads. “If one single contractor has been given so many roads, how will he get the machinery to carry out the work on so many roads at the same time? Even if the machinery is available, traffic permissions will be very difficult to get because cops generally don’t want more than 5-7 roads to be dug up at the same time,” said a road contractor, not wishing to be named.
Deputy chief engineer of western suburbs GM Agarwal admitted that giving contractors so many roads to handle was a problem, but added, ““These conditions were clearly laid out to contractors and hence, if they agreed to take up the work, they should have realised that it was going to be difficult.”