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'Corruption has affected roadworks'

In an interview with Hindustan Times, Rahul Shewale, chairman of BMC's standing committee spoke about Mumbai's roads.

mumbai Updated: Aug 26, 2011 01:12 IST
Hindustan Times

In an interview with

Hindustan Times

, Rahul Shewale, chairman of BMC's standing committee spoke about Mumbai's roads.

Q. Despite spending Rs 5,000 crores over the last five years, the city's roads are in a bad shape this year too. Isn't this is a sign of corruption in the process?
A: As unfortunate as it may be, the answer is yes. Like in every other sphere of public activity, corruption has affected road construction too. As a result, the quality of roads has deteriorated over the years.

What are the major ways in which corruption affects road-making? What are the reasons for the bad quality of roads?
A: Firstly, the system wherein contractors bid for amounts way below the estimated cost is a flawed system. Secondly, while the work is underway, civic engineers hardly supervise the process. As a result ,errant contractors get away with shoddy work. This needs to change.

Although the Shiv Sena has been running the BMC for about 20 years now, are there any renewed attempts that you plan to make to eliminate this corruption?
A: We are introducing new regulations by which contractors will not be able to bid so low. We are also planning to frame responsibility of bad roads on contractors by empowering junior engineers to slap heavy penalties. Currently, these engineers have hardly any power and hence, contractors go scot-free.

In addition to this, we also plan to have a research and development cell for roads in the city, which will be run entirely by civic road engineers. These engineers will then be able to devise newer and more modern methods to improve our roads.

First Published: Aug 26, 2011 01:08 IST