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Govt audit unearths 1,213 discrepancies in BBMP works  

The BBMP has failed to follow basic financial management principles and neglected the effective implementation of audit reports, the report finds
Last Updated : 07 June 2023, 23:28 IST

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A government audit of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) for 2019-20 has found a staggering 1,213 discrepancies ranging from fake bills to excess payments.

Report of the annual audit, conducted by the Karnataka State Audit and Accounts Department, will be tabled before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) for further examination.

Divided into four chapters, the report delves into the BBMP's financial health, besides scrutinising payments made to contractors and identifying shortcomings in revenue generation, albeit in property tax collection or in the Town Planning Department.

The audit report states that the 1,213 lapses amount to a disputed payment of Rs 1,169 crore, which has been disputed on various counts. It also reveals that the BBMP needs to recover Rs 173 crore from contractors due to excessive payments. It has emerged in the audit that the Town Planning Department has collected Rs 26.50 crore less than what property owners owe.

The BBMP has failed to follow basic financial management principles and neglected the effective implementation of audit reports, the report finds. The 61 divisions or departments of the BBMP did not share certain documents when the auditors questioned payments amounting to Rs 259 crore on dubious grounds.

Lapses in report

The audit report identifies two common discrepancies: overestimating the cost of work and issuing work orders when there is only one bidder. Government regulations stipulate that the BBMP should issue a new tender when there is no competition.

The audit report also reveals recurring issues such as reporting an excessive number of vehicles for garbage collection and lapses in CCTV camera installations.

An example of excessive payment is seen in the Dasarahalli division’s project cell.

In the tender, the manual excavation of soft soil was priced at Rs 269 per square metre. However, pictures showed that the contractor used machines for excavation, which actually costs Rs 72 per square metre. This allowed the BBMP to overpay by Rs 22.94 crore. There are many such similar instances.

Another questionable case involves the mechanical sweeping of 19 km of roads in Yelahanka. The BBMP paid Rs 1.14 crore to one Gopinath Reddy, but the department concerned failed to submit tender details, work orders, and bill payment copies to the auditors, despite multiple reminders.

A senior BBMP official said the report was tabled in the legislature and will undergo one more round of scrutiny by the Public Accounts Committee.

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Published 06 June 2023, 18:58 IST

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