The civic body’s water supply and sewerage projects will come under the scanner now. After appointing a third-party auditor to audit the construction of all new roads in the city, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will appoint similar auditors for other crucial departments such as water supply projects (WSP) and sewerage projects (SP).
This move comes after SGS consultants, the third-party auditor appointed for roads, made revelations about the way contractors have been cutting corners.
Crores of the taxpayers’ money is spent every year on both these departments. Sources said monitoring work on projects in the SP department is tough because most of the work is carried out underground, thereby making physical verification difficult.
Accordingly, officials from these departments have been now asked to submit a list of works that can be audited.
Confirming this, additional municipal commissioner Aseem Gupta said, “Based on this list, we will be able to appoint third-party auditors who will inspect and monitor these works.”
While appointing SGS for roads, the civic body was caught in a bind after many corporators publicly questioned the rationale behind specifically appointing the company without floating any tenders. To avoid such controversies, the BMC is planning to form a panel of auditors, who will be awarded work. Accordingly, the civic body has made it mandatory for all bodies, wishing to be auditors, to have accreditation from the Quality Council of India, a body in-charge of quality certification.
Said Gupta, “The accredited companies will be then empaneled on a standard rate to be charged for auditing our works. Accordingly, all these companies will then be made to audit various works on a rotation basis.”
It, however, remains to be seen how corporators react to the proposal of having third-party auditors beyond roads. A proposal to appoint third-party auditors to audit the desilting of the city’s drains, an annual exercise, was rejected by corporators of the standing committee in 2009, who said it was a waste of public money.