PMC appoints consultant to supervise road works - Hindustan Times
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PMC appoints consultant to supervise road works

BySiddharth Gadkari
Jun 23, 2023 12:02 AM IST

PMC standing committee approves ₹22 lakh to hire a consultant to oversee the quality and supervision of road construction projects, especially concretisation works

Pune: The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) standing committee has approved 22 lakh to hire a consultant to oversee the quality and supervision of road construction projects, especially concretisation works.

PMC standing committee approves <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>22 lakh to hire a consultant to oversee the quality and supervision of road construction projects, especially concretisation works. (PRATHAM GOKHALE/HT)
PMC standing committee approves 22 lakh to hire a consultant to oversee the quality and supervision of road construction projects, especially concretisation works. (PRATHAM GOKHALE/HT)

The civic body claims that the consultant will support the road department, eliminating the need for third-party audits. However, activists accuse the civic administration of protecting its staff from facing consequences.

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Last year, Pune municipal commissioner Vikram Kumar acted against engineers and road contractors following public criticism over inadequate supervision of work. Civic activist Vivek Velankar said that the move to appoint a consultant is to shift blame for substandard work and avoid responsibility. He said that it is the duty of civic engineers to supervise and inspect the work for better quality roads. Transferring the responsibility to private hand is waste of public money.

He said that now PMC will send show cause notices to the consultant and contractors.

Sudhir Kulkarni, another civic activist, said that PMC should simply hand over all works to contractors and eliminate the need for engineers or staff.

“The civic body will save administrative expenses and it could be used for the city’s development. The state government had issued a circular a few years ago promoting the appointment of private parties or contractors for various tasks. Union minister Nitin Gadkari’s initiative of implementation of public-private partnership (PPP) model for road construction is a successful experiment,” Kulkarni said.

The road department officials said that the appointment of a consultant will ease the pressure on their limited manpower. They pointed out that the road department is understaffed, with only 40% of the required number of engineers. The workload has increased due to the merger of 34 new villages within the civic limits.

Sahebrao Dandge, superintendent engineer, PMC road department, said that they will continue to supervise and inspect road works. The consultant will assist in pre-tender and post-tender activities, inspections, and maintaining road quality. PMC will ultimately be held responsible for road construction.

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