BBMP awarded works worth 5,000 cr sans job codes

BBMP awarded works worth Rs 5,000 crore even before job codes were issued to contractors.

Days after the Yediyurappa-led BJP government halted civic works awarded by the Congress-JD(S) coalition government, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) allegedly awarded works worth Rs 5,000 crore even before job code was issued to contractors.

The disclosure comes days after DH exposed irregularities in the BBMP’s efforts to award works through the Karnataka Rural Infrastructure Development Limited (KRIDL). However, in the present case, the violation is glaring as work was awarded without evaluating its feasibility.

The BBMP was sanctioned Rs 8,015 crore grants of Action Plan for various mega projects such as white-topping, storm water drain (SWD) works, road and lake development and other works.

The corporation officials seemed to be in a rush to award works without a ‘job code certificate’, which is a document issued by the Chief Finance Officer of the civic body to certify that the proposed work is actually required and feasible before embarking on preparing project reports and tenders.

Of the total Rs 8,015 cr, Rs 1306 crore was earmarked for white-topping, Rs 348 crore for lake development, Rs 2331 crore for road development and Rs 1,434 crore for storm water drain development. Works worth Rs 5,419 crore were awarded without job codes.

To a question, Ravikumar Surpura, Special Commissioner (Projects), BBMP, admitted that the job codes were not obtained.

“Actually the protocol is to take job code for everything and we strongly recommend it. But it does not arise in these projects as the government itself had accurately allotted the funds along with places where they have to be done. It is a very small breach of protocol not a huge lacunae of procedure. Some may consider it a huge breach but it is not,” he said.

Underlining the importance of job codes, BBMP Commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad, said, “I don’t think they would have taken up the DPR and floated tender without job codes because it is a must. Only through that process can we identify the works that have taken place.” 

Speaking to DH, Mayor Gangambike Mallikarjun termed it a “breach of procedure”. “I would not recommend calling for tenders and awarding them without job codes. I don’t know why officials have done it. I can say it is breach of procedure,” she said.

An official, who did not wish to be identified, said all these projects were being “currently held back from the present government”. “If the government decides to let these works continue, then the works which were processed without following the tender will become legal,” he said.

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