Will look into Brimstowad delay: CM
Chavan says land acquisition and rehabilitation issues, lack of access roads and tides to blame for slow pace of project that was conceived in 1993.mumbai Updated: Jul 17, 2012 01:12 IST
Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan has promised to look into the cost escalations and delay in executing the civic body's Brihanmumbai Storm Water Drainage Project (Brimstowad).
“Let me meet the officials concerned first. I will initiate inquiry if I find any irregularity,” Chavan said, in reply to a calling-attention notice served by legislators from the Congress and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS). The legislators demanded an inquiry into the spiraling costs and inordinate delays in completion of the project.
Chavan also said he was not averse to setting up a dedicated authority to oversee the project.
The chief minister admitted to delays caused by rehabilitation of project-affected people, land acquisition, lack of access roads and tides. He tried to convince the Assembly about the escalated costs saying that the original estimates were based on rates prevailing in 2005-06. “The BMC submitted a revised estimate of Rs3,900 crore to the Centre in March this year,” he told the Assembly.
Dilip Patel, BJP's group leader in the civic body, did not think much of Chavan's assurances. “These probes are politically motivated. The government wants to divert attention from its own corrupt ministers and scams,” Patel said. He termed the increase in project cost as “unfortunate”. “The ruling alliance cannot alone be held responsible for it. Senior officials proposed [cost revisions]. We gave an approval,” he added.
The Brimstowad project was conceived to bolster the city's British-era drainage systems, to keep the city free of flooding during the monsoon.
From Rs616 crore when it was first conceived in 1993, the cost of the project now stands at Rs3,900 core. Following the deluge in July 2005, the project specifications, cost and timelines were revised. The Centre announced a full grant of Rs1200 crore, of which, Rs1,000 core has been paid.
The BMC now hopes to complete the project over the next three years. But for that, it will have to put in a special effort, given that only 15 of the 58 works listed have been completed in the past seven years.