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Boost for roads as BMC panel clears projects worth Rs 1,800 crore

In the meeting, BJP demanded to keep the proposals of road improvements in the city on hold until the civic administration assured about the quality and give more details on road repair proposals, the committee after discussion for an hour, cleared it.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
Updated: December 21, 2021 7:43:43 am
Currently, there is no road connecting Dahisar West to Bhayandar as Mira Road West has salt pans and mangroves.

Shiv Sena-Led Standing Committee has cleared proposals of development projects worth more than Rs 1,800 crore on Monday. Of these, major chunks of proposals were for the improvement of roads in the city.

In the meeting, BJP demanded to keep the proposals of road improvements in the city on hold until the civic administration assured about the quality and give more details on road repair proposals, the committee after discussion for an hour, cleared it.

BJP leader Prabhakar Shinde opposed the proposals seeking more details and raised doubt over the quality of works as the selected contractors again quoted below the estimated cost prepared by the BMC.

“All proposals of road repairs should be deferred for now, and the administration should submit a detailed report on what steps will be taken to maintain quality of works. There is no clarity over the audit and quality check. Over the years, Rs 21,000 crore had been spent on road improvements, but no significant change is seen. If these contractors are ready to do repair works by quoting below the estimates, then how can we say quality will not be compromised?” said Shinde in the committee meeting. He demanded that the proposals be rejected for now.

The BJP leader later walked out of the meeting after the proposals were passed. About 40 proposals for road improvement were submitted before the committee. Shinde’s demand saw resistance from opposition leader Ravi Raja, who cited the upcoming elections and said that all the proposals should be cleared. “There is a question on the quality of the work. The BMC in the past had cancelled the tenders since contractors had quoted below 30 per cent. But now, since elections are ahead, we should allow these proposals to pass,” said Raja.

The BMC elections are scheduled to take place in February next year.

Earlier, the same tenders were cancelled after questions were raised when contractors quoted below 30 per cent against the estimated cost. Former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had written a letter to the BMC commissioner demanding to scrap the tenders. Some of the major repairs of asphalt and cement concrete roads will take place in areas like Borivali (Rs 185 crore), Bhandup, Vikhroli, Powai (Rs 147 crore), Kurla (Rs 157 crore), Kandivali (Rs 122 crore).

Samajwadi Party MLA and corporator Rais Shaikh said that there should be an inquiry against the officials for allegedly manipulating the tenders and cartelization. “Same contractors once again got the contracts. In fact, by cancelling the tenders previously BMC will face loss of over Rs 200 crore,” said Shaikh.

Following this, Additional Municipal Commissioner, Sanjeev Kumar said that the BMC will ensure the quality of the work during executions. “It is a fact that the many contractors have bid 18 to 20 per cent below. Our officers will keep checking on the work. The audit will be done during work,” said Kumar.

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