One-man panel resumes probe on 40% commission allegation for BBMP works

The BBMP’s zonal and department heads are required to make themselves available for questioning, it is learnt.
Last Updated : 26 May 2024, 21:00 IST
Last Updated : 26 May 2024, 21:00 IST

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Bengaluru: After a long gap, the Justice HN Nagmohan Das Commission has re-started its investigation into BBMP works.

The commission has issued a notice to the civic body, seeking details of 75 works carried out by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) between July 2019 and March 2023.

The notice was issued after Karnataka High Court set a fresh deadline in February to wrap up the probe.

During the hearing, Justice M Nagaprasanna was unhappy in the delay in concluding the investigations set up to prove the 40% commission allegation during the BJP tenure.

DH has learnt that Retired High Court Judge Das sought details of 75 works in his letter dated April 22. After receiving the letter, the civic body identified four nodal officers, all having a rank of executive engineers, to furnish the necessary documents to the commission.

The probe will look into all major BBMP departments such as road infrastructure, projects (central), stormwater drain, electrical, solid waste management and lakes. The nodal officers are also expected to provide details of work taken up at the zonal level.

On its part, the one-man commission has appointed a senior expert to investigate the files. The BBMP’s zonal and department heads are required to make themselves available for questioning, it is learnt.

The documents sought include cost estimates, administrative and technical approvals, work orders, quality check reports, measurement bills, copies of public complaints received, etc.

The state government formed the committee in August last year to look into complaints of the 40% commission charge across the state.

Separate committees, led by IAS officers, were also constituted to probe the BBMP works. While the government dissolved four teams headed by IAS officers following a stay order by the high court, the one-man commission was given the mandate to probe specific complaints related to 40% commission across all departments, including the BBMP.

Allegations of graft

In a letter to Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar, the BBMP Contractors’ Association levelled fresh charges of corruption against the Palike, stating that contractors are facing harassment at the hand of engineers when the bill payments are due.

The letter mentions undue demands during the pre-audit by the executive engineer, at the time of inspection by the quality assurance cell, and delay in clearing bills by the zonal chief engineers. They also cited breach of seniority list at the time of making payments.

Published 26 May 2024, 21:00 IST

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