Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Double bill features a Kafkaesque comedy

Double bill features a Kafkaesque comedy
Sandeep Moudgal, Bangalore, June 14, DHNS:

The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) sanctioned money for a project twice, with no work done.

An application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act by S R Venkatram, a resident of Vishveshwarapuram (Ward 50), has revealed that the BBMP Major Roads division has sanctioned Rs 99 lakh for maintenance of Storm Water Drains (SWD) and asphalting of roads, even as the same work was earlier sanctioned for Rs 15 lakh by the Palike in 2006.

The Major Roads division sanctioned the project just a month after the Lokayukta pulled up three Palike officials for dereliction of duty and wasting money in issuing the maintenance work of SWDs in Ward 50 for Rs 15 lakh.

According to the documents in possession of Deccan Herald, the Basavangudi division had sanctioned Rs 15 lakh for pre-cast concrete solid blocks, RCC pre-cast cover drain slabs, kerb stones and other work for S Kariappa Road and B P Wadia Roads in the ward.
On June 29, 2009, the Lokayukta recommended to the State Government to initiate disciplinary action against Assistant Engineer Honnegowda, Assistant Executive Engineer Mohan Das and the then Executive Engineer, Krishna for dereliction of duty and misconduct.

According to the Lokayukta, the BBMP had made a faulty estimate of Rs 15 lakh and an amount of Rs 3.55 lakh was left unused for the project. The Lokayukta noted that BBMP carried out works worth Rs 6.55 lakh alone along with additional projects amounting to Rs 9.93 lakh without proper authorization. However, the RTI applicant notes that not a single kerb stone was changed or SWD maintenance was done during the period.

“Having lived over there for the better part of my life, I can show that not a single work was undertaken under the sanctioned amount,” said Venkatram. What is shocking is that just a month after the Lokayukta observation, the Major Roads Division sanctioned Rs 99 lakh for the same project. The total project cost was estimated to be Rs 1.09 crore and was approved on July 17, 2009 by the Executive Engineer (Major Roads-South).

The contract was awarded to M Srinivas Reddy under the head, “Rehabilitation and strengthening of Armugum Circle, S Kariappa Road and B P Wadia Road from Patalamma Temple Street to K R Road,” on July 20, 2009. “A massive scam seems to be brewing within BBMP when you compare the project cost. Whose money are they spending,” Venkatram wanted to know.

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