AFTER two probe reports on the roads scam revealed glaring irregularities in up to 217 roads, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has introduced a cost-efficient category of road works, which will not require digging of roads. Apart from concrete, mastic and asphalt roads, majority of the road works worth Rs 351 crore have been slotted in the new category termed as “milling and carpeting”.
Officials of the roads department said 70 per cent of the road works had been given out under the milling and carpeting category, which involves scratching of roads and then levelling the surface. “Tenders worth Rs 69 crore in the first phase and works worth Rs 282 crore have been allocated. As part of additional measures to keep the contractor on a tight leash, we have set the maintenance period for two years and this can substantially bring the budget down,” said the official.
Currently, maintenance of concrete roads are given out for a period of 10 years, mastic roads for a period of five years and asphalt roads for a period of three years. The official added that reconstruction of roads will only be taken up if the chief engineer deems it necessary on a case-to-case basis.
The second inquiry report into the roads scam revealed irregularities in most of the 217 roads which were inspected, indicating losses to the tune of Rs 1,700 crore. After the completion of two rounds of inquiry in the roads scam, 10 contractors have been named in the second report while six were named in the first.
Civic officials said out of the 10 contractors, the irregularities noted in 10-12 roads were found to be within the deviation clause of the tender. “The clause allows a leeway of a certain percentage which falls under the tolerable limit. Three contractors were found to fall in this category. However, showcause notices will be slapped on all 10 of them,” said the official. The notices are expected to be sent out within this week.