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BMC opts for third party audit of nullah work

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation will,for the first time,carry out a third party quality audit on desiliting of nullahs,following complaints from corporators about inadequate de-silting work,resulting in frequent flooding and wastage of funds.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation will,for the first time,carry out a third party quality audit on desiliting of nullahs,following complaints from corporators about inadequate de-silting work,resulting in frequent flooding and wastage of funds.

The BMC will be spending around Rs 107 crore for desilting of nullahs. The civic standing committee on Monday approved a Rs 86 crore proposal for nullahs in eastern and western suburbs and a Rs 21 crore proposal for nullahs in the city area,till 2011.

Work will begin on April 1 on the nullahs and rivers to allow rainwater to drain off freely. There are fears of a repeat of the July 2005 flooding,when the high tide was of 4.85 metre. This time Mumbai will face the highest high tide of 5.05 metre in 100 years on July 24 and of 5.01 metre on July 23.

Corporators have been complaining that though huge amounts were being spent on de-silting,the work was not up to the mark. Sena corporator Rajul Patel said contractors did not have adequate machinery for the work. “It is carried out manually. The silt remains on the banks increasing chances of flooding,” she said adding that due to acid and chemicals in the nullah near Indian Oil at Goregaon,labourers avoid getting inside the nullah.

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BJP corporator Yogesh Sagar said the amount on desiliting had been increasing but it had no result on the ground.

Additional municipal commissioner,R A Rajeev said this year there will be a third party audit. “We will soon appoint a consultant. Since there are complaints that the work is not done as per specifications,the third party auditor will be responsible of verifying the works,” he said.

The appointment might take time owing to the model code,which does not permit new appointments or new work to begin. The civic administration has sought the consent of the Election Commission to allow it to make the appointment,as it is short-term work to be carried out only during monsoon.

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Chief Engineer (Storm Water Drains),V L Joshi,said the auditor would be required to submit regular reports. “The civic administration will take action on the feedback. If there are serious objections from the auditor,then the bill payment may not be made,” he said.

The desilting cost
The BMC has hiked the funds allotted for cleaning the nullahs in the city and suburbs:
Western suburbs: Rs 54 crore
Eastern suburbs: Rs 32 crore
City: Rs 21 crore

First published on: 31-03-2009 at 11:43:26 pm
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