An interim report by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has hinted at a scam in the civic body’s road works.The scam in question relates to supplying raw materials to road-work sites and transporting debris from there. If the panel’s findings are anything to go by, it could be much larger than the Rs 150-crore de-silting scam.”Just like in the de-silting operations, we have come across a lot of bogus bills. The amount of debris that contractors claimed to have removed was never taken from construction sites to the dumping grounds outside the city. Similarly, the number of trips trucks made to deposit raw materials are also doubtful,” said a senior BMC official.The BMC spends over Rs 1,000 crore on road works every year. Last year, it had set aside Rs 3,200.35 crore for the roads and traffic department. In the last three years, the BMC has undertaken 3,073 road works.BMC commissioner Ajoy Mehta had ordered a high-level probe into the city’s road works after allegations of shoddy work and corruption by mayor Snehal Ambekar.Ambekar, who is from the Shiv Sena, which rules the BMC, had written a letter to Mehta demanding a high-level probe into the city’s road works last month.”This is to inform you that, like the inquiry into the de-silting work, similar malpractice is being followed in the roads department. Contractors transport only 20% of the earth and 80% of the money goes into the pockets of contractors and corrupt officers,” read the letter.Mehta had asked deputy municipal commissioner Vasant Prabhu and chief engineer (vigilance) SO Kori to conduct a probe while Deshmukh was asked to oversee the entire enquiry and submit a report. Deshmukh told dna that the report was in its final stages but refused to divulge details.”We came across several instances where contractors’ claims could not be verified. There were a lot of errors in the way vouchers and challans were submitted. If debris was not transported, we fear that the roads were not dug up as per norms. This means that the raw material that was supposed to be used or claimed to be used was never used too. So, the entire road construction is now under question,” the official added.”We are quantifying the extent at the moment. We will submit a road-wise list of contractors and civic engineers involved. We are quantifying things at the moment. It will take around two weeks,” the official added.Only last month, the BMC’s probe into de-silting operations had revealed that not only did the contractors do sub-standard work, but openly cheat the BMC by inflating bills.The report claimed that there were irregularities in 65-70% of the work. “There have been similar finding in road works too. Unless a detailed probe is conducted, we will not be able to know the exact quantum of the scam. The quality of roads will have to be audited too. Only then, will we know the extent of the scam,” the official added.Under the scannerRPS Infraprojects, KR Construction, Jay Kumar, Relcon Infraprojects, RK Madhani, Mahavir Infrastructure, NA Construction, Navdeep Construction, Shah & Parikh, Pragati Enterprise and Rupesh Corporation.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

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Road work is the latest scam from BMC