An audit report on the Rani Jhansi Grade Separator, constructed by the North civic body, has revealed that the total cost of the project had increased by Rs 546.50 crore; the irregular expenditure on the project was Rs 2.51 crore; and ambiguity in the amount collected from a contractor was up to Rs 5.46 crore. The report was tabled in the North body meeting on Thursday.
As per the report, the project was initially approved at Rs 177.72 crore in June 2006. However, as the project got delayed due to problems in land acquisition, addition of ramps, realignment of flyover and escalation on account of time overrun, the cost was revised to Rs 724.22 crore.
“As per the original design, the grade separator was to cross over some places of worship. But the design had to be modified due to opposition from some communities,” the report stated.
Under the original policy, the civic body considered most of the private properties as residential while estimating the cost of acquisition, but later discovered that they, in fact, were commercial properties. All this led to an escalation in the overall cost by Rs 546.50 crore, the report said.
The 1.6-km-long flyover was to be completed by 2010. It was finally opened on October 16. The audit was ordered by standing committee chairperson Veena Virmani in June 2018, after BJP councillor Neeraj Gupta alleged corruption in the project. A North body spokesperson said the auditors have given their observations, which will go to the commissioner. A reply will be sought from departments concerned.