The Bombay High Court Monday questioned if the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation had applied its mind to ascertain if the resurfacing work of Lalbaug flyover should continue in light of recommendations of the audit report by experts pointing to the “casual approach” of the civic body in such matters. “Our anxiety is that public money should not go waste,” said the court.
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A division bench headed by Justice A S Oka was hearing a public interest litigation seeking direction to the BMC to carry out repair work on the flyover only after carrying out a structural audit.
The HC questioned how the civic body could issue tenders for resurfacing and realignment work on the 2.48-kilometre flyover even before receiving the structural audit report. The court, meanwhile, continued with the stay on refraining the BMC from carrying out the resurfacing work.
The audit report submitted by the consultants states that the structural elements of the Lalbaug flyover need repairs and retrofitting, adding that the resurfacing work should be planned keeping in mind the structural repairs.
Counsel E P Barucha, appearing for the civic body, told the court Monday the audit report had recommended resurfacing and realignment of the flyover along with several other repair works to prevent further deterioration. The civic body had issued tenders to carry out resurfacing work in November 2016.
Questioning the issuance of the tender, Justice Oka said, “We would like to know if the BMC accepted the recommendations made in the report and whether the decision making authority applied its mind if the work should continue.”
The court has asked the municipal commissioner or a senior officer appointed by the commissioner to look into these aspects and file a report within 15 days.
Pointing to the accountability of the original contractor of the flyover, in light of various mishaps relating to the structure, the court added, “The question of quality of work carried out by the original contractor in light of the clauses in the work order will have to be looked into along with the contractor’s liability in this regard.”
The matter has been kept for hearing on March 20. The BMC had floated e-tenders for repairs and resurfacing of the bridge at a cost of Rs 13 crore.
The flyover between ITC Hotel in Parel and Jijamata Udyan in Byculla was inaugurated in June 2011. The flyover helped de-congest the stretches on the eastern corridor of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Road, between Sion and Byculla.