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Home / Mumbai News / PAC slams PWD for inaction on irregularities in Mumbai road works

PAC slams PWD for inaction on irregularities in Mumbai road works

The report pointed out that fake invoices for bitumen were produced by contractors to show that it had been procured from a government refinery; the same invoices were used for multiple works and bitumen was also found procured from private agencies which is not permissible. Despite that, the department took no action against the guilty persons for five years until the public accounts committee (PAC) took up the case.

mumbai Updated: Jul 02, 2019, 03:57 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
The public accounts committee of the state legislature has rapped the state public works department (PWD) for inaction against gross irregularities in road construction works.
The public accounts committee of the state legislature has rapped the state public works department (PWD) for inaction against gross irregularities in road construction works. (HT Photo)

The public accounts committee of the state legislature has rapped the state public works department (PWD) for inaction against gross irregularities in road construction works that are affecting the quality of roads.

The report pointed out that fake invoices for bitumen were produced by contractors to show that it had been procured from a government refinery; the same invoices were used for multiple works and bitumen was also found procured from private agencies which is not permissible. Despite that, the department took no action against the guilty persons for five years until the public accounts committee (PAC) took up the case.

“The gross irregularities are an organised act by contractors and officials. It cannot take place without the direct involvement of officials,” states the PAC report that was presented in the state Assembly on Monday.

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), in a report on the economic sector in March 2013, had pointed out that 101 invoices for 1,603.92 metric tonnes of bitumen valued at ₹6.38 crore procured from Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) were found fake following cross verification.

Works worth over ₹33 crore were carried out between 2008 and 2013 without obtaining invoices for bitumen from the contractors. The CAG also found that contractors procured 895.045 metric tonnes of bitumen worth ₹3.54 crore, for nine works from private agencies instead of government refineries. This was allowed by the engineers in-charge to be used in construction of roads. “Low-quality bitumen has affected the quality of roads in the state,” states the report. “The system of blacklisting a contractor is flawed as it blacklists only the company and not its directors and partners.”

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