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BMC Commissioner for tightening the noose on Road scam accused

Preparations for I-Day

Mumbai : The BMC Municipal Commissioner today announced several new steps to rectify the heavy losses incurred by the administration in the infamous Road scam, including mulling to move the Bombay High Court in the matter.

Asserting that he is trying to “clean the mess” prevailing in the Road department, BMC Commissioner Ajoy Mehta told PTI, “I am going to scrap the system of appointing third-party auditors for quality checks in road repairing.”

He said that after scrapping the third-party audit system, the respective heads of departments would be held responsible for the quality of (construction) work.

“If the contractors do shoddy work, the head of Road department would be held responsible,” he said.

“The civic administration is also contemplating to knock the doors of Bombay High Court to recover the losses incurred by the BMC because of substandard work done by the erring contractors,” he said.

Mehta, who has cracked the whip on officers and contractors indicted in the probe committee’s report into the scam, reiterated that nobody in the administration would be spared, regardless of how junior or senior the person is.

After being alerted by city Mayor Snehal Ambekar in October last year, the Municipal Commissioner had instituted an inquiry into the alleged malpractices and corrupt acts of the Road department officers and the contractors, and initiated action against them.

Mehta submitted a report to Ambekar in this regard in April.

Yesterday, BMC lodged FIRs against six contractors and two third-party auditors, for their involvement in the scam.

Earlier yesterday, senior civic officers had informed the standing committee of the BMC, the highest decision making body on financial issues, that civic administration would be filing the case against errant contractors and specify the compensation that it would try to recover from them by knocking the doors of Bombay High Court.

“Our inquiry has revealed that the contractors carried out substandard work and manipulated the records. The third-party auditors appointed for quality checks also did not do their job professionally,” an officer had said.

However, the Congress, the Opposition party in the BMC, termed the exercise an “eyewash”.

Opposition leader in the BMC Praveen Chheda said, “This is only an eyewash on behalf of the administration. Report has shown this (Road scam) is a scam to the tune of almost Rs 400 crore, but FIR has been lodged against those contractors only who have siphoned off about Rs 15 crore.”

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