Sunday, October 28, 2007

Who is watching the mess anyway?

Who is watching the mess anyway?

Ask Bangaloreans. There’s an overwhelming feeling of joy if and when work on a road is in progress. But it doesn’t last long, neither the joy nor the road.
Quality matters
At least on paper, every new road needs a stamp of approval by two agencies — an external work audit agency and BBMP’s technical vigilance team. The road is subjected to a core cutting test, which determines the thickness of asphalt layers and the quality of materials used. Positive outcome of this test is supposed to decide the final payment made to the contractor.
But in reality, is this process being followed — if so, then why do roads get washed away after a heavy shower? It is left to anyone’s imagination as to what is going on with the civic body’s quality audit.
Contractors’ woes
BBMP floated global tenders for the Core Ring Road, including an advertisement in prestigious magazines like The Economist. The response: no contractor of repute showed any interest.
Bangalore does not have any major construction companies of its own and outside contractors are not interested in the BBMP’s work.
Does this say something about the civic body's efficiency and working procedures? Are BBMP contracts worth the trouble? Perhaps not. Most small local contractors have been blaming the poor quality of work to the hurdles created by the faulty system.
‘‘Most tender conditions are not honoured by the BBMP. Payments are never made on time. Moreover, the new trend is to rope in contractors from other states, who even submit forged documents. Cost escalations become inevitable because site clearance is not done and work orders are not issued in time. Often, the quality and pace of work suffer as no engineer visits the site,’’ contractors maintain.


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