Residents’ woes over bad roads will continue this monsoon as several contractors have failed to complete the work assigned to them within the deadline. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has now started fining contractors for not being able to complete the work or exceeding the May 30 deadline. While two contractors have been fined Rs 2 lakh each by the H West ward office for slow progress of work, notices will be issued to several others over the coming week citing similar reasons.
Irani Enterprises and Pragati Enterprises, have been fined Rs 2 lakhs each. While Irani Enterprises, which had started work on four roads back in January, failed to complete the work on two roads, including Gurudwara Lane, Pragati Enterprises had been working on five roads and two junctions since April 15 and will not be able to complete the work on three roads, including 10th Road in Khar. Of the three categories of road works, all the stretches are in Priority II category.
Officials from the ward said that the contractor had attributed the delay to shortage of aggregate material because of the shutdown of quarries in Thane in March. However, Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta had earlier taken a stand saying that procurement of material was the sole responsibility of the contractor.
“We have issued two separate notices to both the contractors since they failed to comply with the deadline. Based on the total cost of the project given to them, they will have to pay a penalty of Rs 2 lakhs each,” said Sharad Ughade, assistant municipal commissioner of H West ward. One notice was issued to both the contractors on May 20 and the other was sent out on Saturday.
In L ward, which includes areas like Kurla, of the 12 roads and six junctions under Priority II category, work on the junctions have been completed and work on three roads is under progress. In the remaining nine roads, work hasn’t even begun and the contractor will have to pay a fine.
The nine roads include Vidyavihar Road, 60 Feet Road, the stretch between Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road and J V L R Milind Nagar junction, J V L R pipeline bridge, Raheja Vihar Road and V J Patil Road among others.
Ajit Kumar Ambi, the assistant municipal commissioner of L ward, said: “The contractor, Rupesh Corporation and Infraprojects, was not able to start the work on nine roads and we have proposed a penalty against them since they were unable to complete the work. The penalty amount is yet to be calculated and a notice will be issued to them on Monday.”
With the deadline for all pre-monsoon works just a couple of days away, the scenario is similar in other wards where contractors will not be able to complete the work and the ward offices are likely to levy penalties from them as well.
In K West ward, for instance, resurfacing work on a 200 m-long stretch on P L Deshpande Road is yet to be completed.
“The contractor has completed the milling work but 60 per cent of the work remains where two layers of bitumen macadem and bitumen concrete have to be laid. It is unlikely that the work will be completed and we will charge a penalty from them in that case,” said Prashant Gaikwad, assistant municipal commissioner of the ward.
Apart from the suburbs, work in the island city is also lagging behind.
In E ward, under Priority II category, work orders were given out for eight roads. While work on two roads has been completed, it is going on in one road and yet to start in five others, including Sir J J Marg (south bound), the stretch of Dr B A Road from Lalbagh flyover till E S Patanwala junction and J J Road to Dimtimkar Road junction.
An official from the ward said: “These stretches are mostly half a kilometer long and pothole-prone which is why, they were put up for resurfacing before the monsoon. However, due to shortage of material, the contractors could not start the work on time. We will have to consult the tender conditions and figure out how much penalty should be levied from them.”
He added that the contractor has not defaulted for the first time and after the shutdown of quarries in Navi Mumbai was ordered by the Thane collector in March, a show cause notice had been issued to the contractor for not starting the work on time, after which the work commenced.