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Four BMC engineers sacked over road scam

Four Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officers, including a deputy chief engineer and an assistant engineer, have been removed from service in the first phase of the road repair scam in the civic body.

The quartet are deputy chief engineer T.N. Kumar, assistant engineer Umesh Bapat and sub-engineers N. Nagursoge and S.B. Gade.

The BMC had inspected 34 roads in the first phase of its investigation, which unearthed irregularities on a large scale. A total of 100 engineers were found involved, of which 96 have been found guilty in the Rs 350-crore scam, which left the city’s roads in pothole-ridden state due to the inferior quality of material used for repairs.  Charges against four civic officials were dropped after the probe. The eight-page report reveals that a private company PMA was hired to survey the roads for the civic body while they were being repaired and reconstructed. But it was still the role of the municipal officers to check on the roads after the firm’s survey, which they failed to do.

The civic engineers’ alleged involvement has been categorised under the ‘responsibility dereliction quotient.’

The inquiry committee was headed by Ramesh Bambale, deputy municipal commissioner, who submitted the final report to BMC chief Ajoy Mehta last month. “Following the dismissal of four officers, the rank of four civic officers was reduced for two years. The other punishments declared for the guilty officers include reduction in pension, stoppage of increment and a fine of  Rs 10,000 etc,” said a senior civic official.

The inspection of 34 roads was ordered after former Mayor Snehal Ambekar wrote a letter to Mehta, alleging shoddy work and corruption in 2015. An inspection was called after the letter and the allegations were proven true. Action was taken against tainted contractors and FIRs were lodged against them. The BMC had blacklisted six contractors last year after they were found guilty of shoddy and substandard work. The contractors were barred from participating in any civic work for seven years.

In the second phase of investigations, an inspection of 200 roads was conducted and 191 engineers were served with show-cause notices. The inquiry report on the same is awaited this year.

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