BEST quotes 50% more than private contractors for painting city streetlights
Local Press Co 5-point Snippet
1. After siphoning off crores under the pretence of maintaining city’s nullahs, the BEST may have siphoned off more taxpayers money under the streetlight scam.
2. According to a Mid-Day report, the BEST estimated the cost of painting 27,000 light poles across the city as Rs 6.18 crore, whereas independent contractors quoted around Rs 4.14 crore.
3. A discrepancy of over 50 percent of the estimated cost is surely a cause for concern. But, what makes the ordeal more troubling is the fact that there is no way of knowing if the BEST has siphoned off money in the past.
4. Prior to this year, the BEST never prepared an estimate. Only after the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) criticized the undertaking for not conducting any cost audits, did it decide to prepare an estimate.
5. Although officials from the undertaking standby the estimated cost citing the use of machinery as a reason for inflated costs, the undertaking has decided to conduct a probe into the expenditure on such projects over the last 10 years to determine if the taxpayer’s money was pocketed by any party.