The MCD’s audit department has raised several red flags in the ongoing exercise to shorten the height of the Bhalswa landfill using trommel machines — from payments that caused undue benefit to the contractor to lack of anti-pollution and fire-fighting measures in place at the site.
In their report prepared for the year 2019-2020, the auditors said: “In case of hiring machinery, the cost of fuel is normally borne by the contractor. But in this case, there has been a payment of
Rs 1.6 crore for electricity consumed in running the trommels to the contractors up to October 2020. This is a case of undue benefit to the contractor.”
As per estimates, 1 trommel machine processes 300 tonnes of garbage a day. It was, however, noticed there was no system to measure the quantity of garbage actually processed; neither had the contractor maintained such a record. Payment to the contractor — a total of Rs 5.06 crore till October 2020 — was being made only on the basis of the number of days the machine was used. “Thus payment… to the contractor is not justified…,” said the report.
It further said: “There are no arrangements for a sprinkler to water. Screening of very old garbage through trommels creates huge clouds of dust and smell… NGT from time to time directed to make arrangements to stop flying of dust. But no such arrangements are there on site.”
North MCD Mayor Jai Prakash said garbage is taken from the trucks so there is a standard of measurement. “We are ready to sort out any issues,” he said.
The mayor further said smog guns have now been installed to control the pollution, and CCTVs would be put up soon to monitor the area and watch out for fires. Prakash said he has asked officials to give their response to other issues raised in the report.
A North MCD spokesperson said a detailed explanation is being prepared by the department.
AAP, meanwhile, hit out at the BJP, with leader of opposition in the North MCD Vikas Goel claiming the machines are being engaged at “inflated costs”.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines