Pre-monsoon nullah desilting in Mumbai: 'Contractors paid, no audit done'

  • Chetna Yerunkar, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Sep 09, 2015 12:30 IST

The 145-page inquiry report on pre-monsoon nullah desilting has brought Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) accounts department under scanner. It pointed out that payments have already been made to some contractors and no third-party audit was done after the work was done.

In view of the shoddy work, civic chief Ajoy Mehta ordered that all payments to contractors be stopped and all desilting contracts for next year be shelved. The report though told a different story, which has been backed by civic officials. They claimed payments of about Rs16 crore has already been made to some contractors for work done in the island city.

A civic officials, who did not wish to be named, said: “After checking the books, it has been found that around Rs16 crore has already been paid to contractors. But all further payments have been stopped.”

The report revealed that officials flouted conditions in the tender. While the tender specified that one contractor could be given just one zone, officials were found assigning multiple zones to as many as nine contractors. It also revealed that BMC’s vehicle tracking system (VTS) can easily be manipulated.

This report, will be tabled at the standing committee on Wednesday. Headed by deputy municipal commissioner Prakash Patil, a five-member compiled the report.

Sandeep Deshpande, group leader, MNS, said, “How can a chief accountant claim there is no need for a third-party audit? Serious action should be taken against civic officials, who are found involved.”

Mehta has also asked additional municipal commissioner Sanjay Deshmukh to study the inquiry report and pin those responsible for the shoddy work. BMC sources said Deshmukh is expected to submit his report this week.

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