Nagpur: The Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC), still smarting under the sting it got hit by the dumping of Nagpur out from the list of ‘Smart City,’ surprisingly refuses to put its house in order and thus salvage the prestige. On the other hand the local body continues to be silent spectator to dubious affairs being run by equally dubious babus and office-bearers as well. The point in question is how a low rung contractor, till now carrying out Rs 4 lakh works, suddenly bags works of Rs 1.25 crore. Secondly, from where the contractor ‘managed’ to arrange such huge investment within such a short period.
The contractor in the ‘limelight’ is Vijay Naidu, who is known as a “fixer.” The role of babus and office-bearers is under cloud as without their “help” the Rs 4 lakh contractor could not bag Rs 1.25 crore work order. One of the office-bearers of NMC Contractors Welfare Association who wished not to be named alleged that a class of officials-office-bearers-corporators is the ‘capable’ investors of NMC contractiors. Many of these capable investors are pocketing moolah through the contractors one way or the other. These ‘investors’, to ensure their money is safe, often get rid of administrative hurdles in the way of contractors. Many of the contractors in NMC are running their business the ‘benami’ ways like what a former Mayor and a former Deputy Mayor are doing.
Another possible reason the contractor could have mopped up crores is that this Naidu formed a “ring” of contractors 4-5 years ago with the “help” of babus and office-bearers of the local body and usurped 1 percent commission from the contractors of the “Ring.”. This money in crore is being used by Naidu and his close aides foir their “money-multiplying” activities. These acts of Naidu are well known to the two top officers of PWD but still the “illegal practice” is going on unabashedly. For other contractors, procuring bills meant spending extra 10-12 percent for greasing the palms of concerned babus. But in Naidu’s case, he is spared of the extra spending courtesy his “links” with higher ups. And those officials refuse to the Naidu line, they had to face the music. A deluge of correspondence and complaints takes place and after the activation of office-bearers the targeted officials are packed home for pointing fingers at Naidu, said sources.
The Regional Secretary of Akhil Bharatiya Manavadhikar Nigrani Samiti Lalsingh Thakur took up the matter with Economic Offences Wing of Crime Branch and demanded appropriate legal action in order to stop misuse of people’s tax money by some unscrupulous elements that are ruling the NMC roost.
– By Rajeev Ranjan Kushwaha