Road repair proposals worth Rs 370 crore were cleared within five minutes in BMC standing committee meeting on Tuesday without any discussion. Questioning ruling Shiv Sena’s “hurry” in clearing the proposals, former ally BJP staged a walk out from the meeting.
The committee on Tuesday approved 15 proposals of road repairs and reconstructions, valued at Rs 370 crore. The BJP corporators demanded a discussion since details of proposals worth Rs 250 crore were provided to them only on Monday night.
“Existing rules state proposals should be given to standing committee members three days before the meeting. However, the agenda of many road repair proposals were sent to us only late Monday. This is a violation of law. We did not get enough time to study the proposals. Our demand was that these proposals should be kept pending and passed only after study and discussion,” BJP corporator Prabhakar Shinde said.
However, Standing Committee Chairman Yashwant Jadhav refused, stating that work has already been delayed, and sought clearance of the proposals without any discussion. This received indirect support from Congress, NCP and Samajwadi Party, with their members not objecting. The proposals are for roads in areas like Andheri, Dahisar, Ghatkopar and Kurla.
Standing committee members had alleged that the administration has failed to award contracts of road repair on time, which could lead to delay in completing work before monsoon. Corporators had also claimed that development projects worth crores are still pending due to administrative delay.
The 15 tenders issued for road repair works had courted controversy after BJP alleged BMC was ready to award contracts at rates that are at least 30 to 40 per cent more than the estimated cost. BJP MLA Ashish Shelar said: “Finally, BMC has accepted there is corruption in road works. In the state Assembly, I had raised the issue of BMC awarding works to contractors at rates 30 to 40 per cent more than the estimated cost. After negotiation, the figure was brought down to 6 to 8 per cent. However, BMC is still paying high prices since cement concrete roads do not have maintenance issues.”