Maha Govt orders CID probe into BMC contracts

Mumbai: Maharashtra Government today ordered a CID probe into the tenders floated by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to the tune of Rs 152 crore and subsequent contracts awarded by it for cleaning of nullahs and stormwater drains.

Minister of State for Urban Development, Bhaskar Jadhav told the Legislative Assembly that contractors, who are repeatedly hired despite failing to complete the previous works, would be blacklisted.

"There is a suspicion that contracts were given in places where there is no silt," Jadhav said while ordering the probe.

Congress, the principal opposition party in the civic body ruled by the Shiv Sena-BJP combine, had demanded a CID probe into the tenders over BMC's alleged failure to comply to its undertaking of completing cleaning of nullahs by June 5.

Legislators Madhu Chavan, Amin Patel and others had sought a CID probe alleging desilting of the nullahs in the eastern and western suburbs is still incomplete.

"The work is going on at a snail's pace," they complained.

Demanding a CID inquiry, Patel said tenders worth Rs 152 crore were invited and contractors who did not comply with the deadlines were awarded the works.

Meanwhile, the Leader of Opposition, Eknath Khadse, described the announcement as "politically motivated with an eye on the 2012 civic polls" and demanded to withdraw it.

Ravindra Waikar of Shiv Sena who had served as the Chairman of the BMC Standing Committee, said the municipal corporation had installed Global Positioning System (GPS) to track vehicles carrying the silt.

Accusing the government of encroaching upon the rights of the BMC, Khadse said, "The government is turning a blind's eye to the allegations of corruption against its own ministers".

Another BJP leader Mangalprabhat Lodha demanded that the government allocate a separate budget of Rs 1000 crore for cleaning the drains in all the civic bodies and zilla parishads in the state.

Replying to it, Jadhav informed the Centre had already sanctioned Rs 1200 crore for the BRIMSTOWAD project in Mumbai alone.