The technical vigilance cell had earlier deemed these schemes unnecessary
The 1,970 works worth Rs. 522 crore that were deemed unnecessary and frozen may soon be launched. Several councillors had objected to the decision to freeze these schemes.
On Tuesday, Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Commissioner M. Lakshminarayan announced that these schemes may be taken up in two phases. This decision was taken after a meeting with district in-charge and Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy on Monday.
Mr. Lakshminarayan said that in the first phase, flood prevention schemes and those for which work orders had been issued would be taken up. The remaining would be taken up after a pre-audit and verification under the second phase.
Mr. Lakshminarayan clarified that these schemes had not been scrapped, only frozen. He claimed that 22,800 schemes were in progress in the city. “If all the 1,970 schemes are taken up now without any pre-audit or verification, it will become difficult for the BBMP to monitor them,” he said.
Justifying the decision to conduct the pre-audit, he said the government had issued an order stating that all schemes worth over Rs. 5 lakh had to be subjected to pre-audit. “It is imperative that we follow the procedure laid down by the government. If the project is essential, there should not be any problem in taking it up,” he added.
He said that there was need to ascertain if the BBMP had the financial wherewithal to take up these additional schemes. The BBMP had pending bills amounting to Rs. 1,265 crore and the contractors were constantly demanding their dues.
Mayor D. Venkatesh Murthy urged Mr. Lakshminarayan to use a uniform yardstick while conducting the pre-audit.
Earlier, Ruling Party Leader N. Nagaraju said that many schemes that were already taken up were in limbo, which was inconveniencing citizens. K. Gopalaiah, Mahalakshmi Layout MLA, sought to know why the BBMP had to freeze schemes taken up with government funds. Several BJP councillors, including Pattabhiramanagar councillor C.K. Ramamurthy and Rajajinagar councillor H.R. Krishnappa, objected to the pre-audit of the frozen schemes.
It may be recalled that during the previous council meeting, the councillors, cutting across party lines, objected to the BBMP’s decision to freeze 1,970 schemes. The Technical Vigilance Cell under Commissioner (TVCC) had deemed these schemes, sanctioned under special grants from government, MLAs, Mayor, Deputy Mayor and 12 standing committees, unnecessary.