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Disputed civil works system to stay

Corporators decry new system that allots separate contracts for projects in city wards saying it causes undue delays, reports Poorvi Kulkarni.

mumbai Updated: Jan 08, 2013 01:18 IST
Poorvi Kulkarni

Despite vehement opposition from corporators against the new e-tendering system that has been introduced for awarding petty civil works at the ward level, the civic administration upheld the new civil works contracts (CWC) system.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) believes that this will make the process of conducting civil works more transparent and reduce corruption.

"The new system is aimed at curbing the malpractices that used to arise under the working of the old system. There were instances when work would be carried out without cost estimates, leading to unchecked spending," said Sitaram Kunte, municipal commissioner

In the old system, a single contractor would handle all the work for one ward on an average of two electoral wards, but this would often lead to corruption as a nexus would crop up between the contractor, corporators and officials. As per the new system, a different contractor will be appointed for each work.

However, corporators alleged that calling tenders for each minor work had often caused undue delays. The corporators said that the delays resulted in the funds getting lapsed.

Rebuking these claims Kunte said that around 40 per cent of the funds had already been utilised till December 2012.

On this, mayor Sunil Prabhu demanded that the civic chief specify how much of this has been utilised under the e-tendering system, and not the old one.

"There is a clear contradiction in the explanation that is sought by the general body and that which is presented by the administration. We demand a report on the number of works that have been allotted and completed under the new system," said Prabhu.

Yashodhar Phanse, leader of the house and Shiv Sena corporator, demanded a no-confidence motion against the civic chief. "If the general body is misguided in this manner and satisfactory answers are not provided for the questions raised by the corporators, we will have to consider bringing in a no-confidence motion against the municipal commissioner," said Phanse.

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