A day after an internal inquiry report into the June 19 flooding revealed a nexus between civic officials and contactors, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to widen the scope of the probe to bring all 32 contractors under the scanner. This, in effect, means the pre-monsoon nullah-cleaning work carried out across the city will now be probed.
The 145-page report on the inquiry, which was submitted by a team headed by deputy municipal commissioner Prakash Patil on Wednesday, brought to light the fraudulent practices of nine contractors. The contractors, who were picked randomly, had connived with civic engineers to manipulate records and logbooks.
“After the revelation, the work by all contractors will be investigated. The report reveals the nexus is deep and there is a possibility that other contractors, too, are resorting to such fraudulent practices,” said a civic official, on condition of anonymity.
According to civic officials, only 50-60% desilting was complete before the monsoon, compared to the 93% claim made by the contractors. While additional municipal commissioner Sanjay Deshmukh is examining the report and will suggest action against the guilty, all political parties in the civic body have demanded criminal proceedings against the contractors and officials.
The city received 288mm rainfall on June 19, leading to waterlogging on roads and suburban railway tracks, thus bringing Mumbai to a standstill. Despite receiving only 61mm of rain on July 22, waterlogging was reported at 40 spots across the city. On both days, most stormwater drains or nullahs were found to be choked. Civic chief Ajoy Mehta had ordered an inquiry into the pre-monsoon work after the June 19 incident, the report of which was submitted on Wednesday.