Road contractors accused of cutting corners once again
Despite stricter monitoring and surveillance by a private third-party auditor, road contractors currently constructing roads worth nearly Rs1,000 crore, are trying their best to cut corners.mumbai Updated: Apr 13, 2012 01:19 IST
Despite stricter monitoring and surveillance by a private third-party auditor, road contractors currently constructing roads worth nearly Rs. 1,000 crore, are trying their best to cut corners.
From not employing adequate crucial machinery, to employing inadequate manpower, to indulging in various irregularities in the testing of raw materials, road contractors are at it again. This revelation was made in a new report, presented by the standing technical advisory committee (STAC), by SGS consultants, the third-party auditor appointed by the civic body to supervise construction of roads.
This is not the first time that the consultants have indicted road contractors in the city.
The Hindustan Times had, on February 26, reported how SGS had found that road contractors were trying to cut corners by using sub-standard materials and employing malpractices, thereby affecting the quality of work.
Speaking about the meeting, STAC chairman NV Merani said, “SGS has pointed out many deficiencies in the way contractors are going about, carrying out road works in the city. These deficiencies are serious and these have to be rectified immediately. We cannot allow road works to be carried out, despite these faults.”
Merani said the auditor informed the committee that contractors were also trying and avoiding quality checks, by failing to construct laboratories on sites.
Said a civic official from the roads department, “By not constructing these labs, contractors can easily escape the scrutiny of the auditors. Instead, they choose to send the samples of their materials to the BMC lab, where malpractices are rampant.”
Merani also agreed with the HT report, which had said that contractors were not digging up to the required depth and thereby, compromising on quality.
“We found various instances where contractors have compromised on the depth and have not made the road as thick as they should be made, according to standards.” He added that these instances show that contractors have not mended their ways.
“These contractors are violating basic contract conditions. The BMC should, rather than imposing financial penalties, go ahead and cancel some contracts. We have recommended that the supervision on these contractors be increased. Although SGS is pointing out flaws, it remains suspect whether BMC engineers are taking the requisite action or not.”