Delay in pothole repairs: BMC ignores protests,to fine officials

Protests by engineers notwithstanding,BMC will penalise officials responsible for delay in pothole repairs.

Written by Express News Service | Published:October 17, 2012 1:04 am

Protests by engineers notwithstanding,BMC will penalise officials responsible for delay in pothole repairs.

The civic body had set a 48-hour deadline to fill potholes,threatening to impose a fine of Rs 1,000 on contractors and engineers who fail to meet it.

Accordingly,it fined sub-engineers across the 24 wards Rs 1.33 crore and contractors Rs 1.96 crore.

While BMC will recover the fine from contractors,it has decided to be lenient to officials with genuine or technical reasons.

Additional Municipal Commissioner Aseem Gupta said,“We will discuss with engineers the reasons for delay in repair of potholes. If their reasons are genuine,we will reconsider fine or reduce it.

“We will impose penalties on a case-to-case basis as the main reason for the fines is checking inefficiency.”

The highest penalty of Rs 16.27 lakh has been imposed on Kurla (L ward),while engineers in Andheri (K-West ward) have been asked to pay Rs 12 lakh.

Activist and Matunga resident Nikhil Desai said,“BMC imposing such hefty fines on sub-engineers for delay is absurd. There are more serious issues such as encroachment for which all ward officers should be fined crores.”

At a meeting with Gupta last week,the sub-engineers had demanded senior officers such as chief and deputy chief engineers be penalised too.

“We are being made a scapegoat though the whole administration is at fault. The civic work contracts scam is proof it is not just engineers who are to blame for a certain work,” said a junior engineer.

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