Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Palike fines Metro Rs 200cr

Palike fines Metro Rs 200cr

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The Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation has received a bill for a whopping Rs 200 crore from the Bruhat Bengaluru Maha nagara Palike that has shocked the authority. The reason? “Damaging the MG Road among others.” BMRCL has already paid the first instalment of Rs 100 crore for the road violations. Top sources in the government revealed to the Deccan Chronicle that BMRCL had to cough up Rs 200 crore, described as “penalty” in a letter issued to the metro rail authority last month.

The letter states BMRCL didn’t take any prior approval for works on MG Road or any other road from the BBMP.

Amidst huge opposition, the rail authority took up civil works on MG Road, the showpiece of Bengaluru, in early 2007.

“Every year the BBMP spends hundreds of crores on asphalting roads and road maintenance. The metro rail works have permanently damaged some of the important roads in the east. The works for the metro will damage hundred more roads. Keeping this in mind the authority worked out a penalty structure. The bill runs upto Rs 200 crore and as negotiated, the BMRCL has already paid Rs 100 crores,”’ sources said.

The BMRCL which has already suffered cost escalation due to delays has to add another Rs 200 crore towards the cost of the project which is estimated at Rs 6,500 crore. However when contacted BMRCL’s new Managing Director Shivshailam played down the incident stating it was paying charges for using the road (BBMP’s property). “The BBMP issued a letter stating that BMRCL needs to pay for using the roads. Accordingly, we asked them to prepare a bill for the entire list of roads which will be utilized for putting up girders and pillars. The charges are same as which are applicable to BSWWB or Bescom for road cutting,” he said.

But when asked why the authority received a notice asking it to pay for damages if there were pre-set agreements or sanctions from the BBMP, the source said it is deemed sanctioned when one department undertakes work in public interest.


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