Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Experts demand public audit of all civic projects

Experts demand public audit of all civic projects

Shwetha S. Bangalore



Civic experts in the city have suggested that public involvement in monitoring and executing civic works will not only ensure an enhanced quality of the projects, but also avoid repetition of incidents like the wall collapse that killed Sanjana Singh last Tuesday.
They opined that this would also act as a ground-level monitoring, and lessen corruption in the civic departments.
Executive trustee of CIVIC, an NGO, Katyayani Chamraj, said that residents' welfare associations (RWAs) should be empowered to monitor civic works at the ward level. "There should be a separate helpline for citizens to register complaints about illegal activities in the implementation and execution of various civic works," she said.
Chairman of Public Affairs Centre, Samuel Paul, said that supervision of projects was necessary at every phase. "Corruption is prevalent at all levels in the various departments. Hence, the only suggestion for the BBMP is to empower the public to monitor the civic works," he said.
He added that all details of contractors and engineers involved in the projects should be published on the internet. "Also, the RWA of the area where a civic project is being implemented should be empowered as a monitoring agent, where they will be involved in every aspect, including the collection and testing of samples of construction material," Paul said.
Katyayani added that the quality control wing in the BBMP needed to be more proactive. "The wing should conduct an intense check on all contracts, including the engineers involved in such projects, before bills are passed," she said.
"Citizen involvement will bring about a change in the departments, and help avoid mishaps like the Sanjana episode. Contractors and engineers found guilty of corruption should be heavily penalised and blacklisted," Paul said.

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