BBMP spent Rs 72 lakh on road asphalting, only on paper

BBMP spent Rs 72 lakh on road asphalting, only on paper

The month of June 2008 is etched deep in Savita Katarki's memory as she was blessed with a grandchild.

Some days later, she got a gift from the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike, when roads were asphalted for the first time in Vasantha Vallabha Nagar in Vasanthapura ward of Bangalore South Assembly constituency where she lives. She is quite particular that no tarring happened in her locality since then.

“Our roads are in a bad shape despite repeated appeals to the local corporator to asphalt them,” said Katarki. But, little does the elderly woman know that the roads in her area have been asphalted at a cost of Rs 72 lakh last year, if not on the ground, at least on paper.

Documents obtained by Deccan Herald under the Right To Information (RTI) Act show that the “fake bill scam” continues unabated in Bangalore South Assembly constituency. The contents of the documents raise questions about the projects worth Rs 85 crore, carried out in the constituency in the last one year.

The documents show that bills were submitted even without executing the works or the works were carried out in a shoddy manner.

The RTI documents show that four bills pertaining to these works were submitted, two on September 30, 2011 and the other two on March 31, this year. One of the bills submitted last year was for an amount of Rs 45 lakh. The new ‘scam’ reminds one of the Rs 10,000- crore fake bill scam unearthed last year.

Rude shock

Katarki was in for a rude shock when she was told that bills worth Rs 72 lakh have been submitted.

“If this has happened then it is nothing but a blatant lie and an act of corruption. Is there any government functioning in the State?” questions an outraged Katarki.
Narasimha Swamy of the same layout was also in for a shock when he was told that the road in the area has been asphalted. “Either you are lying or we have been cheated,” said Narasimha Swamy.

Temple not spared

The BBMP officials and the contractors have not even spared the ancient Vasantha Vallabharaya Temple.

The 1,200-year-old kalyani at the temple is now in a shambles, but the BBMP records show that Rs 35 lakh has been spent to 'improve' the temple tank. Further, the contractors, the documents reveal, spent Rs 95 lakh last year to 'improve' the areas surrounding the temple.

Of the Rs 95 lakh, a sum of Rs 54.31 lakh was spent for laying concrete road and Rs 45.35 lakh for improving parks and taking up other development works around the temple. While improvement of parks and development works are not visible, the concrete road is of such  quality that it cannot withstand a single monsoon, local residents said.
Works around the historic temple were carried out by Karnataka Rural Infrastructure Development Limited (KRIDL), a subsidiary of the State government.

Highlights

Based on a complaint by a local India Against Corruption (IAC) activist Phanisai Bharadwaj about the shoddy construction of drains in Vasantha Vallabha Nagar, the BBMP Commissioner last month asked the TVCC to submit its report. The TVCC officials visited the spot and submitted their report, pointing to many loopholes in the execution of works. Highlights of the report:

* Records of the quality testing of construction material not available
* Records of the publication of tender notices missing
* Broken and damaged slabs used to cover drains
* No permission sought from competent authority
* No records to show negotiation schedule
* Reports point to 'collusive/fraudulent' tender process
* Works did not get over even after 90 days of work order
* No confirmation of completion certificate
* Details pertaining to beginning and completion of work missing
* No mention of the measurement of the road and drains in the map

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