Corruption in BBMP has gone up: Contractors warn of protest

The fresh allegations come at a time when the KSCA has upped its chorus against the state government over similar charges
Last Updated : 24 August 2022, 21:16 IST
Last Updated : 24 August 2022, 21:16 IST

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The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike Karyaniratha Guttigedarara Sangha, which is an association of contractors, has alleged that corruption in the BBMP has gone up.

The delay in clearing pending bills of the last two years and the series of recent orders have resulted in an increase in the demand for higher commission (bribe) to clear files, the association has alleged in a letter.

The fresh allegations come at a time when the Karnataka State Contractors Association (KSCA) has upped its chorus against the state government over similar charges.

On Tuesday, the association members submitted a memorandum to the BBMP Chief Commissioner and warned of a protest if the number of tables are not reduced to clear payments.

“The contractors are already in trouble as the pending bills of the last 22 months are not cleared. Moreover, the commission percentage has gone up from 40 per cent to 50 per cent after the BBMP passed multiple new orders. Every office is demanding a commission to clear files. The contractors are facing harassment after the number of tables were increased to get file clearance,” the letter submitted to the BBMP boss read.

The association states the re-structuring of the Technical Vigilance Cell under Commissioner (TVCC) and the Quality Control Cell has been the cause of delay in clearing bills. “The contractors are finding it difficult to get approvals of TVCC and the Quality Control Cell due to paucity of staff. The old system of getting approvals from the TVCC head office should be continued,” the association said and warned of a protest.

‘Allegations not true’

The BBMP has refuted the allegations saying the three new reforms, introduced recently, are aimed at reducing corruption and ensuring better quality of work. “We have decentralised the process of clearing payments for all types of work. One to two people may have problems but decentralisation is a step in the right direction,” BBMP Chief Commissioner Tushar Girinath said. “The zonal commissioners have been given powers to clear files that used to travel all the way till the head office.”

Restructuring of TVCC, the BBMP said, is being done to streamline the process of clearing payments. “Until recently, thousands of files used to come to the TVCC. Instead of signing all files, the TVCC has been given the responsibility of scrutinising 10 per cent of the files on a random basis. The cell has also been given powers to undertake a probe whenever there are complaints of shoddy work. Such an in-house cell is needed as we cannot take the help of the Lokayukta all the time.”

The BBMP, the commissioner said, is also planning to bring in project management consultants (PMC), who currently report to the executive engineers, under the Quality Control Cell.

“This will ensure the PMC does an honest job of checking the quality of work. As the PMC currently reports to the executive engineers, they are at the mercy of these engineers in order to get their own payment on time,” he said.

Published 24 August 2022, 19:37 IST

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