AFTER a preliminary probe report implicated several civic officials of the Solid Waste Management (SWM) department of the BMC for allegedly conniving with a garbage compacting contractor, a committee appointed by Additional Municipal Commissioner Vijay Singhal has issued show cause notices to four officials including Deputy Municipal Commissioner Vijay Balamwar.
The contractor had allegedly processed less garbage than what was claimed, according to the probe report. While the civic officials were given seven days to respond to the notice, none of them had submitted a response and the committee members said they will send a reminder notice on Wednesday. Singhal said that he had appointed the two-member committee- comprising deputy municipal commissioners Chandrasekhar Chore and Narendra Barde about two weeks ago.
“This is a very serious case and the committee will conduct a detailed inquiry to ascertain certain facts including who provided the notings to the contractor and why was the matter not brought before the senior administration,” said Singhal. Apart from Deputy Municipal Commissioner Vijay Balamwar, show cause notices have been served to Chief Engineer Siraj Ansari, Deputy Chief Engineer Minesh Pimpale and an executive chief engineer.
Even though the notices had been sent out on July 3, none of the officials submitted their replies and members of the committee said that a reminder notice will be issued to them on Wednesday. Civic chief Ajoy Mehta had directed Singhal to carry out a detailed probe after the preliminary inquiry report submitted by the outgoing Additional Municipal Commissioner, Sanjay Deshmukh last month revealed that officials of the SWM department had colluded with the contractor appointed for compressing and transferring waste.
The matter came to light after the contractor, who was appointed for a period of ten years, approached the Bombay High Court in 2014 seeking compensation of Rs 35.19 crore on various counts including the idling of his equipment during the initial delay caused by the BMC. The report had mentioned the involvement of officials including chief engineers, deputy chief engineers and deputy municipal commissioners between 2006 and the current year.
The report also mentioned that figures of the monthly average revealed a difference of up to 40 per cent in the quantity of waste received at Mahalaxmi and the quantity transported after being compressed. It was also pointed out in the report that the contractor’s bills were accepted only on the basis of volume while the weight of the waste was ignored.