The report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has come down heavily on the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) for its lacklustre execution of Rs 2,647-crore Mumbai Urban Infrastructure Project (MUIP), stating that the costs incurred were 41 per cent more than the sanctioned amount. Moreover, this increased amount was spent on merely a fourth of the originally proposed works while the remaining works were never taken up.
The CAG report says that the stated objectives of the November 2003 state government-approved MUIP, to address and bolster Mumbai’s infrastructural needs, have “remained largely unachieved”. It points out that though 157 works under MUIP were to be completed within 3 years i.e. by November 2006, the MMRDA has taken up only 38 works. Of this, only 13 works were completed on ground within the 3-year time frame. The remaining 119 works have not being taken up even after a lapse of 7 years since then.
Moreover, as against the original estimates of Rs 2,647 crore for the entire 157 works, the MMRDA ended up spending Rs 3,735 crore merely on these 38 works. The report lists the MUIP’s failure in preparation of Station Area Traffic Improvement System (STATIS) and traffic dispersal model, creation of dedicated bus lanes and corridors, construction of only two of the proposed 16 rail over bridges in Mumbai and construction of a four-lane Eastern freeway instead of six lanes. The report further states that “a number of works were awarded without inviting tenders and payments were made to contractors in violation of tender provisions”.
Pointing to an overall weak monitoring mechanism, the CAG report states that the fee paid to project management consultants increased manifold with the corresponding increase in project costs.