Mumbai Road Scam: 11 contractors blacklisted by BMC, served notices for shoddy work
11 road contractors will no longer be able to take up any new civic work as the BMC issued show cause notices to them on Thursday after their names came up in the civic body’s internal inquiry into last year’s road scam.
In the second inquiry, whose report was submitted to BMC commissioner Ajoy Mehta last week, 16 contractors who had worked on 200 roads were under the scanner for sub-standard work.
Of them, 11 were found guilty of carrying out shoddy repair work and served notices. Six of them had been indicted in the first inquiry conducted last year, while the remaining five were served notices for the first time.
The contractors were required to execute road crust layer below pavements of specified thickness. However, among other irregularities, the report found that the crust layers were of a lower thickness than specified by the BMC.
The show cause notice states that if the contractor fails to reply within 15 days, it will be treated as an admission of guilt and they will blacklisted or deregistered.
The contractors will be held responsible for defrauding the BMC since they submitted fabricated or inaccurate documents to prove that the work was carried out per the civic body’s requirement.
FIR against contractors:
After evaluating the report, Mehta ordered an FIR against the tainted contractors. According to officials, the names of six contractors had already been included in last year’s FIR and the remaining five will also be named in the same complaint.
In his order, Mehta has written, “This is extremely serious and the discrepancies have led to the appalling state of Mumbai roads. It is imperative that again a conclusive and exemplary action is taken to set things right and ensure that public money is spent with care and caution.”
“Issue show-cause notices to all contractors whose irregularities are beyond the tolerance limits mentioned in the tender document. Further in view of the large scale and serious irregularities, which have adversely impacted the quality of roads in the city, an FIR must be lodged against all contractors,” he has added.
The civic body is also considering serving notices to two third-party auditor firms, which were responsible for attesting to the quality of roadwork.
Mumbai road scam:
In 2015, an inspection of 34 city roads revealed that sub-standard work had been carried out on all roads surveyed by the civic body.
Following which, six contractors were blacklisted and barred from bidding for any civic contracts in future. The BMC also registered an FIR against the contractors.
In addition, two third party auditors – Indian Register of Shipping and SGS India Pvt Ltd – were also served notices for helping contractors get away with sub-standard work and defrauding the corporation.
A case was registered against the auditors in April 2015 and two months later a special investigation team (SIT) probing the scam arrested ten employees working with the firms.