Contractors’ payment details for last three years sought

Payments to contractors based on approximate quantity of waste generated in the city has now come under the scrutiny of the Karnataka High Court as the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) on Monday admitted that garbage collected is far lesser than earlier estimates.

Noticing that approximate quantity of the garbage collected in eight zones of the city is around 3,400 tonnes to 3,599 tonnes a day as against 4,000 to 4,500 tonnes estimated earlier, the court asked BBMP Commissioner Siddaiah to place on record payments made to contractors in the last three years.

In its details submitted to the court about garbage weighed between February 1 and 28, the BBMP said it averaged 3,599.72 tonnes daily.

The Commissioner said that the BBMP is carrying out a survey on a pilot basis with a private firm’s help to get a realistic data on waste generated and collected in every ward, and the outcome of the survey would be placed at the next hearing.

To a query, he admitted that the garbage collected is much less than the BBMP’s estimate and that payments to contractors were made based on the estimated figures.

He also sought three months to fine-tune the data on garbage collection.

Following this, a Division Bench comprising Justice N. Kumar and Justice B.V. Nagarathna asked Mr. Siddaiah to submit the final data on garbage collection and payments.

‘Stop payment’

The Bench directed the BBMP not to release any money either to M.N. Sriramulu, chairperson of the Karnataka Safai Karamchari Commission or to the three persons in whose favour he had subcontracted a garbage collection contract awarded to him in December 2012-January 2013 in Kamakshipalya (ward no 101) and Shivanagar (ward no 107).

A petitioner had pointed out that Mr. Sriramulu cannot hold a contract as he is a public servant by virtue of his appointment as chairperson of the commission by the State government in February this year.

It was also alleged that the contract itself was obtained fraudulently.

The court asked the State government to take note of Mr. Sriramulu’s conduct and decide whether it is in public interest to let such persons continue to head a commission, which has the rank of a Minister of State.

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