Strict action would be taken against officers who indulged in corrupt practices in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), said chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, on Thursday.
The warning assumes significance ahead of the February 16 civic polls in which the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) combine is contesting against the ruling Shiv Sena- Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alliance.
Acting on complaints, Chavan had ordered probes into several matters such as unfinished annual accounts, roadwork tenders, desilting of Mithi River and solid waste management last year.
"Inquiries into alleged corruption which helped them [officers and politicians] swindle public money will continue," said Chavan at the Marathi Patrakar Sangh, located across the BMC headquarters near Azad Maidan.
Refusing to comment on whether he had evidence to prove that corrupt practices were resorted to, Chavan maintained that inquiries, as per the state government's orders, were still going on.
Assuring no 'witch-hunting' while pursuing cases of irregularities, Chavan said that the officers and politicians who swindled BMC's money would not be spared, if found guilty.
The alleged corruption in the Shiv Sena-ruled BMC is the Congress-NCP's major poll plank. Chavan, with his clean image, has embarked on a mission to expose the malpractices.
Chavan wondered why the municipal corporation had failed to blacklist erring road contractors for shoddy work. "When we asked the civic body, they said that the contractors were paid the entire amount and hence there was no provision under which they could be punished. I still don't understand who cleared the payments and how the tenders below the bid amount were approved," he said.