Nullah-desilting scam: BMC likely to collect photographic proof of silt dumping

  • Sanjana Bhalerao, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Sep 29, 2015 23:24 IST
File photo of BMC workers carrying out the desilting of Mankhurd nullah. ((Photo credit: BMC))

After numerous discrepancies were found in the 145-page inquiry report on pre-monsoon nullah desilting in Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has decided to strictly monitor the work.

Around two weeks ago after the shoddy work was highlighted in the report, the BMC suspended 14 of its officials and filed first information reports against seven contractors.

The scam also revealed major discrepancies in the transportation of silt.

The civic body, which until now had focused only on the amount of silt removed from nullahs across the city, will now keep a tab on the transportation of the silt.

In many cases, the BMC found that the vehicles’ registration numbers submitted were of autos and two-wheelers.

The BMC is likely to appoint civic officials at dumping grounds to collect photographic evidence of trucks dumping silt.

The 145-page report submitted by a team probing the nullah-desilting work in the city, headed by deputy municipal commissioner Prakash Patil, earlier this month, exposed fraudulent practices by nine contractors (selected randomly) in connivance with civic engineers who manipulated records and log books.

The log sheets show one vehicle used by two contractors in two places at the same time.

One vehicle, which was shown making eight trips between two sites continuously for 20 hours, had no record of where the silt was dumped.

The civic body is conducting a thorough inquiry on the shoddy nullah cleaning done in the eastern and western suburbs.

The final inquiry report is also expected to suggest changes in the nullah-cleaning process.

“We got details on the amount of silt removed from drains but there was no assessment of the silt contractors transported. This was one of the loopholes in the system and the final report is expected to suggest changes in the system,” said a senior civic official on condition of anonymity.

To check the number of trips trucks carrying silt made to dumping ground, the BMC had installed vehicle tracking system (VTS). However, the inquiry revealed that the VTS was also tampered with.

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