Funds went down the drain in Bangarappa Nagar, literally

Funds went down the drain  in Bangarappa Nagar, literally

Nothing has changed in the Bangarappa Nagar slum, atop a small hillock in Rajarajeshwari Nagar, in the last four years.

Poorly maintained roads, garbage mounds at every corner and reeking open drains are the identity of this locality. But the money spent by the financially ailing Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) on the development of the slum is mind-boggling. Documents, including bill register of the BBMP accessed by Deccan Herald, indicate an misappropriation of Rs 1.13 crore in the slum last year; whereas four years ago, it was found that Rs 3.81 crore was spent on this area – only on paper.

Bill register shows payment of Rs 55.35 lakh against the job code of 160-13-000082, which relates to providing RCC drains and covering slabs at the 7th, 8th, 9th, 9th A, B, C, D and E Cross roads. The work was entrusted to KRIDL and the payment made on January 31, 2014. During a reality check by this newspaper on Sunday and Monday, it emerged that there were neither RCC drains nor covering slabs.

Manjula, a resident of 9th Cross, Bangarappa Nagar, said she had not seen any work being executed in the area. “If the drains have been constructed last year, they should be there somewhere, but where are they? You show me. If the bills have been raised and payments made, then it is an open loot,” she fumed.

When the residents of 7th Cross, Bangarappa Nagar, were told that the BBMP had constructed a box drain worth Rs 55.35 lakh in their locality, they just burst into laughter. Manjunath, a resident of 7th Cross, said, “Where did you get to know about it? If you have documents showing that Rs 55.35 lakh has been spent, then it is a big joke.”

Channasandra scams

Documents also showed that close to Rs 1.35 crore were spent in Channasandra Colony in the same Assembly constituency on laying roads and building box drains. While the work has not been completed, payments have been made to the KRIDL on November 30, 2013.Requesting anonymity, some local leaders sought to know the antecedents of the contractors who ‘executed’ these works. They suspect that they could be the friends and relatives of the ruling Congress leaders.

“It is strange that the KRIDL, a subsidiary of the State government, is indulging in a scandalous job. We have learnt that the ultimate beneficiaries of the wrongdoings of KRIDL are the Congress leaders, who should be probed,” said the local leaders.

Works are assigned to the KRIDL only when there is an urgency. For undertaking the work, KRIDL charges 11 per cent more than the amount quoted for the work. KRIDL also enjoys the benefit of bypassing the transparency rule if any work is assigned to it under ‘urgent work’ category. However, the urgency shown by the BBMP in completing the work is not visible at Channasandra Colony and Bangarappa Nagar, where the work has not even taken place although full payment has been made.

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