Engineering college experts to help BMC check shoddy workUpdated: Oct 30, 2019, 00:16 IST
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will soon rope in experts from three premier engineering colleges – two from the city and one from Pune – to assist its vigilance department in investigating the shoddy work done by private contractors and conducting surprise checks to ascertain the quality of civic work.
The experts will be from Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI), Matunga, and Sardar Patel College of Engineering, Andheri, and Pune-based College of Engineering. Confirming the development, joint municipal commissioner Ashutosh Salil, said, “The process is underway, and we will have experts from these three engineering colleges on our panel soon,” he said.
Every monsoon, the BMC faces flak owing to the poor quality of the city’s roads. To keep a check on the potholes and uneven patches on the 2,000-km-long road maintained by the civic body, the corporation aims to conduct regular checks on work carried out by its contractors.
“Having third-party experts will also ensure that we get a neutral opinion on the issue. It will also help in resolving the existing manpower shortage in the BMC. It is always better to outsource work instead of appointing additional manpower for such tasks,” a BMC official said.
According to BMC, it had also approached the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) to be a part of the panel, but the plan did not work out. “IIT-B officials said they have been allotted a lot of work by the government bodies and thus couldn’t be assigned with more work. These appointments are for a longer period and not for short-term ones,” the official said.
Congress corporator Ashraf Azmi said that instead of involving more experts, the civic body must strengthen its engineering department. “Every year the engineering department gets weaker. There should be a strict reward and punishment policy for in-house engineers to motivate them to construct better roads. The exercise to appoint independent experts has been conducted in the past,but nothing has changed on the ground.”
Nikil Desai, a civic activist from Matunga, said despite appointing third-party experts, roads could remain in poor state. “Favourable or non-favourable reports can always be made even if the third parties are appointed. Why is it so difficult to have contractors carry out work efficiently?” he asked.
Meanwhile, the BMC is also concretising several roads by carrying out re-layering, a process in which paver blocks are removed and roads are layered with cement.