BMRCL didn't act against 'inept' contractor: JD(S)

BMRCL didn't act against 'inept' contractor: JD(S)

The JD (S) has accused the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) of not initiating action against a contractor, who stalled work for a year, causing a cost escalation of Rs 950 crore.

A boring machine working on the North-South Metro line, owned by contractor Coastal-TTS (a joint venture), was stuck for 12 months and work had come to a standstill. The contractor was neither replaced nor blacklisted. This so, despite the government having its share of funds in the metro project, JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy said in the Assembly on Friday.

Referring to a BMRCL official’s financial transactions, JD (S) leader H D Kumaraswamy said an accounts officer had transferred BMRCL funds to his personal account and invested the money in mutual funds. But he incurred a heavy loss. Later, he joined Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) and transferred the civic agency’s funds to his personal account and invested in mutual funds, he added.

“Despite the officer investing our money, BMRCL did not take any action,” he said.
Meanwhile, BJP MLA Govind Karjol said the officer had taken a transfer from BDA to BMRCL. He said he would not like to comment on the issue further as the investigation into the irregularities was still going on.

In 2006, the estimated cost for Phase 1 of Namma Metro was Rs 6,395 crore for 33 kilometres. Later, work was taken up for an additional nine kilometres and the cost escalated to Rs 8,158 crore, Kumaraswamy said. The cost per kilometre was Rs 194 crore in the initial stages, but later it touched Rs 327 crore. By 2011, the estimated cost was Rs 11,609 crore.

“Earlier, there were two good finance officers with BMRCL. Now, some retired people are employed. A retired engineer has become the chief engineer,” he pointed out.
When contacted, BMRCL Managing Director Pradeep Singh Karola said that there was a

“criminal intent” with regard to illegal diversion BMRCL money  to mutual fund. Although he refused to share details, Singh said that a police complaint was registered at the Wilson Garden police station and investigation was on.

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