NMC’s ‘promptness’: Clears contractor’s bill for cement roads left incomplete!!

Nagpur: The Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) administration has again been found on wrong foot over his dismal style of working. A newly built cement road has not only mirrored the ugly face poorly laid network of cement roads but also exposed the nasty attitude of babus.

In the instant case, construction of two cement roads from Kumbhar Toli Square to Danaganj Square and Shastri Nagar Square to Satnaminagar Square undertaken recently in East Nagpur. What is surprising is that the NMC administration, showing its ‘undue promptness,’ cleared the contractors’ bills even before the work was completed. The outcome of this ‘undue haste’ is that the cement roads are in poor condition and the contractors are in ‘no mood’ to correct the wrong. Why should they? Bills are cleared. They and babus are happy “over the deals.” Even the Corporators of the area are maintaining a ‘radio silence’ over the affairs and thus left the administration ‘bindhast’ (not worried).

Even the Union Minister Nitin Gadkari was furious when he was apprised about the poor quality of construction of cement roads in city and the ‘corruption’ prompting him to order an inquiry into the affairs. The Minister had directed Municipal Commissioner Ashwin Mudgal to conduct an in-depth probe.

Building of a network of cement roads in the city was undertaken three years ago. Many contractors having no experience in construction of cement roads were awarded with the work orders. The subsequent dismal quality of work eventually drew severe flak from many quarters including the Guardian Minister, experts, lawyers, and even NMC office-bearers. A committee was constituted “for the name sake” but it proved fruitless.

The work orders for construction of cement roads from Kumbhar Toli Square to Danaganj Square and Shastri Nagar Square to Satnaminagar Square in Prabhag 25 were issued during the tenure of then Standing Committee Chairman Narendra (Balya) Borkar. He is also Corporator from the Prabhag. The Chief Minister, on the demand of East Nagpur MLA Krishna Khopde, had sanctioned funds for construction of cement roads in entire East Nagpur. But due to bickering between Borkar and Khopde, the former “misused” his powers as Standing Committee chief and issued work orders for conversion of tar roads situated in the front and backside of his house into cement concrete roads. Even though the work order was in nine parts, only one contractor was awarded the contract for “obvious reasons”. However, when the NMC administration cleared the bills of the contractor even before completion of cement roads, Borkar was left ‘dumb-founded.’

The contractor has left the cement roads riddled with potholes, storm water drainage chambers open or half completed, uneven height of roads and pavement due to non-allignment, other roads of the locality have not been connected with these two cement roads and thus making them accident prone etc. Borkar brought the anomalies to the notice of the contractor and NMC administration but both chose to stay ‘deaf and dumb.’ NCP Corporator from the Prabhag Duneshwar Pethe too was aghast and contemplating to knock doors of appropriate authorities for suitable action.