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Mumbai civic body tries to rehire consultants who worked on projects in 2014 road repair scam

The proposal was to hire them again for various projects across the city including road repairs, sewerage etc.

mumbai Updated: Jan 10, 2018 22:54 IST
Sagar Pillai
Sagar Pillai
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,2014 road repair scam,Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation
2017 officials from the roads department were indicted in the 2014 scam.(Pic for Representation)

Failing to learn from its mistakes, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) tabled a proposal before the standing committee meeting on Wednesday to rehire consultants, who worked on projects that were part of the 2014 road repair scam. The proposal received staunch opposition from members of the committee, which in the end termed the proposal as not taken.

The proposal was to hire them again for various projects across the city including road repairs, sewerage etc. These consultants are supposed to give their opinions on various subjects like repairs and building of tar roads, cement concrete roads and also designing the budget. Moreover, they also form an advisory committee and under their supervision, the feedback of rain and sewage department, topography survey, testing potholes, geological inspection, detailed estimation, budgeting and design of roads and related constructions is done.

However, a senior civic official from the roads department said, “These consultants were not found guilty of irregularities in the road repair scam. Instead, the work was not carried out according to their design and guidelines. There is no reason to not hire them as they had no role in the scam since they would have been equally penalised by the inquiry officials.”

Whereas, councillors in the standing committee said these consultants had given an improper design. BJP leader Manoj Kotak said, “Although, no action was initiated against the consultants, they were responsible for the road repair scam. They had designed and consulted on the road repair work and had introduced several changes in the tender format. By rehiring them for the same work, does the civic administration want to fool taxpayers?”

SP leader Rais Shaikh said, “The BMC is now and then trying to rehire the culprits behind the road repair scam. They had also proposed to hire the blacklisted contractors for other projects. We have demanded that photos of the blacklisted contractors be put up at the entrance of the BMC headquarters since these contractors have now started new firms with different names.” The consultants were hired on a three-year contract which ended last year.

First Published: Jan 10, 2018 22:45 IST