The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has approached chief justice of Bombay High Court (HC), requesting him to take cognisance of the alleged scam in pothole-filling work by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
The party has urged chief justice Mohit Shah to take note of the alleged fraud worth Rs25 crore in the pothole repair work carried out by civic contractors during monsoon.
The HC had in July taken suo moto cognizance of the pathetic condition of roads and instructed the BMC to improve them. The corporation had assured the court it would take adequate measures to repair roads.
The Raj Thackeray-led party has now claimed there were discrepancies in the treatment of around 3,000 potholes, sizes of which were fudged by contractors to prepare escalated bills.
The BMC categorises sizes of potholes as R1 (1-20mm in size), R2 (20mm-40mm), R3 (40mm-60mm) and R4 (60mm and above).
Rates for filling pits are dependent of size of the potholes treated. The BMC spends around Rs1,800 to treat a ‘R1’ category pothole while filling a ‘R4’ crater costs around Rs2,300.
“According to the pothole-tracking system used by the BMC, the municipal engineers are supposed to specify the exact sizes of the craters to be filled. But they didn’t. And contractors were overpaid,” said Sandeep Deshpande, MNS’s group leader.
Deshpande said now it is up to the HC to either take suo moto cognisance of the matter or relate the same to the July case. “We are waiting for HC’s response. If it doesn’t take notice of the matter, we may file a separate case to expose the official-contractor nexus,” he said.