Mumbai: BMC to probe all road works over Rs 5 crore in last one year

227 roads, six contractors under scanner; Ajoy Mehta's decision after finding bills bogus

Latest News
Mumbai: BMC to probe all road works over Rs 5 crore in last one year


In one of the biggest-ever crackdown on irregularities in civic road works, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) chief Ajoy Mehta has ordered a probe into all road works costing over Rs 5 crore in the last one year for bogus bills and cost escalation. Mehta – who has confirmed to dna that an inquiry has been ordered – has asked the BMC's Vigilance department to probe over 200 road works to check if contractors submitted bogus or inflated bills and duped the civic body.

According to officials, the probe has been ordered after the BMC recently nailed the contractor who built the city's costliest road, charging the BMC Rs 142 crore for constructing a 1.5-km road. An initial probe had revealed that the contractor, RPS Infra, duped the BMC by producing bogus challans.

"The Vigilance department has been asked to submit a report in 60 days. They have been asked to go through all the bills and log books to see if bogus bills have been submitted," said a senior civic official.

According to civic officials, the corporation had picked 10 of the contractors' 92 bills – submitted for transporting debris for Vidhyavihar's Ramdev Peer Marg – randomly. "All the 10 turned out to be bogus, proving that the contractor has taken BMC for a ride," said a senior civic official.

The probe was conducted by additional municipal commissioner Sanjay Deshmukh, who has now recommended a detailed inquiry. Of the total of 227 roads, 72 in the city, 119 in western suburbs and 37 in eastern suburbs will be probed. The BMC's roads department is led by additional municipal commissioner SVR Srinivas.

dna had in August reported that construction of the Ramdev Peer Marg in Vidyavihar had caught Mehta's attention. The contract for constructing the 1.5-km road in cement concrete was awarded to RPS Infra in 2010 for Rs 128 crore. While the work is yet to be completed, the costs escalated 13% and the civic body has had to shell out Rs 142 crore. This was touted as the costliest road in the city.

"In Ramdev Peer Marg's case, the ready-mix cement (RMC) plant was located in Powai while the work was in Vidhyavihar. There should at least be a one-hour gap between the trucks' to and fro trips as loading and unloading material would also take time. However, trucks are shown to have made multiple trips in just a few hours. We fear that this modus operandi was replicated in the case of other roads too," said an official.

"This is a bogus bills scam. There should be a thorough probe and contractors must be booked. Civic officials are also involved and action must be taken against them too. BMC should file FIRs against contractors," said Congress legislator Aslam Shaikh.

Contractors in dock

-RPS Infraprojects
-KR Construction
-Jay Kumar
-Relcon Infraprojects
-RK Madhani
-Mahavir Infrastructure

Some of the roads laid this year

-Ramdev Peer Marg, Vidhyavihar
-Mahapalika Marg, CST
-LBS Marg, Vikhroli
-SV Road, Juhu
-Dr. Ambedkar Road, Sion
-Dadasaheb Phale Marg, Dadar

Find your daily dose of news & explainers in your WhatsApp. Stay updated, Stay informed-  Follow DNA on WhatsApp.

Live tv