BMC’s project costs went up by 60% in 2 years
Not only has the civic body spent Rs21,000 crore of taxpayers’ money in the past five years without much to show for it, it has wasted a lot of it because of inefficiency and negligence.mumbai Updated: Dec 02, 2011 01:47 IST
Not only has the civic body spent Rs 21,000 crore of taxpayers’ money in the past five years without much to show for it, it has wasted a lot of it because of inefficiency and negligence.
A case in point is the amount the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is spending on projects. In the past two years, it has spent more than 60% of the amount originally estimated by increasing the cost of contracts. Projects that should have cost Rs 3,505 crore now cost Rs 5,750 crore — an additional Rs 2,245 crore.
With this amount, the BMC could have replaced 70 km of old water pipelines or built 250 km of concrete roads.
“It is widely known that when you keep increasing unchecked expenditure, three sections benefit - contractors, corporators and BMC officials,” said Prakash Sanglikar, a retired deputy municipal commissioner.
A key reason for the BMC’s poor performance is financial indiscipline. The future is bleak for civic finances, the BMC’s chief accountant had warned in a confidential note in 2009.
Raju Bhise from the NGO YUVA, which has studied the BMC’s functioning, said: “That there has been no audit for all these years means there is no accountability and transparency.”
“We have not approved cost variations in the past year. The BMC’s financial health is better now,” said Sena leader and standing committee chairman Rahul Shewale.