Faulty planning and subsequent delay in the construction of a storm water tunnel at Mahalaxmi led to a more than eight-fold increase in the project cost — from Rs 7.95 crore to Rs 60.66 crore — in five years.
And this when the municipal corporation is facing a financial crisis.
At Friday’s standing committee meeting, corporators pulled up the administration over the delay and rise in cost. They also asked what were the consultants, who were appointed to suggest solutions for the project, done all these years.
BMC officials said there had been a number of unforeseen problems that had led to the escalation of the project cost.
The project involved constructing an underground storm water tunnel from Sant Gadge Maharaj Chowk to Dr E Moses Road in Worli.
In September 2005, the standing committee had approved the said proposal and allotted it to Skyway Construction for Rs 6.26 crore for a period of 16 months, barring monsoon.
However, the work was delayed due to several reasons such as delay by consultant M/s MWH (India) in suggesting a correct method for lining and also removing the service lines by the respective utilities.
“Despite facing financial troubles, the BMC continues to defy its own rules of economic restraint. Municipal Commissioner Swadheen Kshatriya, while presenting the annual budget, had vowed to restrict expenses and concentrate on ongoing projects,” a corporator alleged.