Friday, July 28, 2006

Panel suggests new entity for upkeep of roads in city

Panel suggests new entity for upkeep of roads in city

The Hindu

BANGALORE: A committee of experts, constituted by the Karnataka High Court, to monitor the status of roads in Bangalore has taken to task the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP) for the poor quality of roadworks and suggested the creation of a separate organisation or special purpose vehicle (SPV) for construction and maintenance of roads in the city.

It sought a comprehensive probe to investigate irregularities in roadworks undertaken so far, including wrong and excess payments to contractors, admission of improper bills, ineffective contract management and improper evaluation of tenders, which it said led to huge expenditure.

It said it had highlighted irregularities in tender handling, contract management, preparation of bills, wrong payment of advances such as EMD, security deposit and performance guarantee all against the provisions of tender conditions, not levying liquidated damages against the contractors for their own fault. It said several of such illustrations mentioned in the reports were only a "tip of the iceberg".

In its fifth report submitted to the High Court on Thursday, the committee said a new organisation was essential to look after the roads as new areas were being added to the city and the BMP's sphere of activities was increasing everyday.

It criticised the auditing of BMP accounts and suggested that the Government should get the Accountant-General to audit the palike's finances. The report was filed before a Division Bench comprising Justice R. Gururajan and Justice D.V. Shylendra Kumar.


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