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BBMP unearths Rs 523-crore scam

Last Updated : 17 April 2013, 20:59 IST

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The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagar Palike (BBMP) has unearthed a major fraud worth Rs 523 crore, similar to the fake bills scam. Palike officials investigating the case said the money could have been spent at the hustings ahead of the Assembly elections.

Three months before the model code of conduct came into effect, certain ministers, MLAs and corporators got the approval of the State government and the BBMP for special grants worth Rs 762.51 crore to carry out “development works” in the City. As many as 2,756 projects were supposed to be taken up.

“If these many works had taken place, the City would have resembled a paradise. Or even if these many works have just started, it would have become difficult for the people to even walk, with construction materials littered everywhere. But nothing like that happened,” said a senior Palike official.  

Alarmed, the Palike ordered a probe into all works carried out with the funds.

The chief finance officer (CFO) of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) was asked to furnish details based on the job code which comprises ward number, year of sanction and designated number.

Job codes were introduced to check duplication of work and easy location of the work site. Based on the job codes provided by the CFO, the BBMP authorities ordered an inquiry, which revealed that only 786 works were taken up. Thus, 1,970 works worth Rs 523 crore did not begin at all.

Palike sources said Dasarahalli, Rajajinagar, Padmanabha Nagar, K R Puram, BTM Layout, Govindaraj Nagar, Malleswaram, Rajarajeshwari Nagar and Mahadevapura divisions lagged behind while there was little progress at Bommanahalli and Yelahanka.

“We noticed that progress in the works was very slow. Only 10 to 15 per cent of the works had begun. Based on experience, we can say that the contractors would have submitted bills by doing only 10 to 20 per cent of the work or even without doing a bit, if
we did not investigate,” an officer said.

The BBMP is in the process of freezing all works which have not yet started.
When contacted, BBMP Commissioner Siddaiah refused to comment, saying that he has not seen the inquiry report yet.

The opposition Congress leader in the BBMP Council, M K Gunashekar, demanded action against officers responsible for preparing bogus project reports.
He alleged that many scandals had come to light in the past, but the BJP government never showed any interest to bring the culprits to book.

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Published 17 April 2013, 20:59 IST

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