Wednesday, December 23, 2009

City on fast track of confusion

City on fast track of confusion
BDA Takes Up 1,554 Jobs, But Not One Is Complete; Govt Depts All At Sea
Aarthi R | TNN

Bangalore: With more than a thousand works going on in Bangalore, there is bound to be some confusion. But some RTI documents procured by The Times of India make it clear that confusion abounds. While the city looks to be on the highway to a model metro, there is no accountability on their completion. There is no clear and constant monitoring, nor is there
a single authority to check on progress, and if the work is in tune with the government order.
Here is what an RTI query revealed: In 2008-09, the BDA had taken up a total of 1,554 works worth Rs 623.09 crore, at its own cost. This is according to a proceedings-cum-government order dated August 30, 2008. A majority of these works lie in the newly-added BBMP areas where BDA had acquired land.
But, answers to an RTI query from the BDA engineering member, dated December 1, 2009, on these works a year later, reveals not just incomplete works but some irregularities too. The total works — reduced to 1,300 across 12 MLA constituencies — are all incomplete as of Julyend.
Besides this, earlier in August, there were two contradictory replies to the same questions by two different departments of BDA in the same month — right from the nodal agency to the display boards at the site of work.
GOING DEEP WITH RTI
Details of works completed out of 1,554 works.
As of July 31, 2009, none of these works in the 12 assembly constituencies have been completed
Details of remaining works in this package.
Work order for nearly 1,300 works in 12 assembly constituencies has been issued and work is progressing in various stages; 75 works are under tendering process. The remaining 76 works were not taken up as BBMP has already completed them. Seven works handed over to BWSSB. Remaining 96 works not covered under programme of works.
Shocking still, the contradicting and selective replies to RTI questions in July 2009, on the terms and conditions for works specified under the GO. Incidentally, replies from both the BDA engineering department and deputy forest conservator landed within a week during August. But none of them tallied with the main GO! WHO FOLLOWS THE GO?
As per the GO, the nodal officer for all these works was the BBMP engineer-in-chief. But the replies had no reference to it. Instead, it was the deputy conservator of forest (BDA) for park development works taken up in 2009-10, and BDA engineering officers (I, II and III levels) who were appointed nodal officers in their respective work areas.
The GO clearly insists on ‘prominent’ boards that are visible to all at the work site — displaying project details — right from tenders to contractors to timelines. While the deputy conservator of forests replied that they are displayed at the appropriate places, the engineering member says: “They are put up at a few work places. In other places, the departments concerned have been instructed to put them up at the earliest!”
THE CLINCHER The confusion in the GO — while the main document states that work will be taken up by BDA with its own funds, there’s an ‘Annexure-A’ that lists it under ‘Abstract of government grants for 2008-09 budget to BBMP area and border areas towards 12 MLA constituency’!

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