Mumbai: The Maharashtra Lokayukta has ordered a probe into a complaint accusing the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) of awarding major contracts to two firms with a questionable track record, an activist said in Mumbai on Thursday.
RTI activist Anil Galgali had written to Lokayukta Justice (retired) M.L. Tahaliyani alleging irregularities in awarding fresh road repairs and other major civic works contracts worth Rs 173 crore by the civic body to tainted firms.
Last April, following an uproar over poor quality of road construction and other repairs, the BMC had lodged police complaints against the six contractors.
They were — RPS Infraprojects, J Kumar Works, KR Constructions, Relcon Infraprojects, Mahavir Infrastructure and RK Madhani Works. These have been engaged in various civic projects in the city.
Of these six, two companies — RPS Infraprojects and J Kumar Works — have landed new contracts worth around Rs 173 crore even though FIRs were lodged against them.
"Besides these four projects in different parts of the city, they will also work on the ambitious Rs 1,300-crore upcoming Goregaon-Mulund Link Road project, while blacklisting proceedings are underway against them. This shows the kind of influence they wield on the civic body," Galgali said.
The BMC, which is the richest civic corporation in the country, is controlled by the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party combine.
In his complaint to the Lokayukta, Galgali explained how the BMC was on the one hand lodging FIRs against the rogue firms for messy works and then rewarding them with fresh projects worth crores of rupees.
He claimed that the manner in which the contracts were awarded raised serious suspicions since at the end of shortlisting of the tendering process only two companies were in the fray.
Galgali urged the Lokayukta to seek a report from Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta on this and initiate suo-motu action against the six contractors who are being blacklisted by the BMC.
Earlier this year, following a public outcry, Mehta ordered an inquiry into 34 road repairs works in the city and suspended two senior officials, Ashok Pawar and Uday Murdudkar, for the lapses.
The BJP last month demanded an Anti-Corruption Bureau probe to weed out the corrupt officials allegedly working hand-in-glove with unscrupulous contractors.