Senior officials from the Union Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) visited three JNNURM project sites here on Wednesday following allegations of poor implementation,corruption and financial irregularities levelled by the Opposition Congress in a recent letter to the ministry.
Led by director B P Sridevi,the team heard out the Opposition delegates and promised to send auditors to ascertain the charges.
At the end of the first day of the two-day visit,Sridevi declined to disclose what transpired between the team members and the Opposition delegation. The Opposition leaders team was also kept out of the loop and was not given the whereabouts during the day. But they confirmed visiting Bhadra Fort area,JNNURM route near the Chandola lake and breaches in storm water drains connecting Heerabhai Tower,Maninagar,Bhairavnath and Danilimda Charrasta.
The major grouse of the Opposition was that the AMC going out of the way and ignoring the municipal commissioner in awarding contracts to a construction firm,which has been named in the memorandum as M S Khurana Engineering.
Congress leader in AMC Badruddin Shaikh told the team that despite it having been penalised and blacklisted in the past,this firm was given redevelopment of the Bhadra Fort area. Besides,the redevelopment plan will adversely impact livelihood of around 2,000 street vendors,who must be given alternative space for business, he told the team.
Pointing at the alleged nexus between the contracting firm and the AMC,he said despite accommodation being available in the Circuit House Annexe,the AMC arranged for the teams two-day stay in a star hotel owned by the firm which it has been obliging by awarding contracts.
In the case of EWS housing irregularities,the Congress complained that despite the municipal commissioner recommending blacklisting M V Omni Projects India for two years,the AMC standing committee ignored this and went on giving contract for building 3,808 units. The committee told him that a separate team would be sent to look into this.
The team took a serious view of the poor work in BRTS shelters and the extremely high estimates to repair them,Rs 50 lakh per shelter.