‘Rs. 17,802 crore spent on just road-related projects in the past decade’
The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike is infamous for clearing multiple bills for the same project as well as bills for projects yet to be implemented, especially with no road history in place. Now, Yediyur councillor N.R. Ramesh is all set to lodge a complaint with the Lokayukta about alleged misuse of public funds, amounting to Rs. 17,802 crore, on just road-related projects in the past decade.
According to Mr. Ramesh, between April 1, 2003, and March 31, 2013, the civic body spent Rs. 17,802 crore on asphalting, as well as improvements to roadside drains and footpaths. Between 2003 and 2010, the civic body spent Rs. 15,400 crore for “development and improvement” of 2,700 km roads in 100 wards. During the administrator’s period between April 1, 2007, and March 31, 2010, documents revealed that BBMP had spent not less than Rs. 8,988 crore on roadworks. It spent Rs. 2,450 crore between April 1, 2010, and March 31, 2013, on similar projects.
Terming this expenditure as “daylight robbery”, Mr. Ramesh said that on an average, each ward has 47 km of roads. “Even if the entire stretch is asphalted, the expenditure incurred will be just around Rs. 14 crore.”
He claimed to have over 17,000 pages of documents indicating the “scam in roadworks”.
For example, engineers had raised a bill for asphalting the stretch between Shantaveri Gopala Gowda Circle and Corporation Circle. Another bill was submitted for asphalting the stretch between Vidhana Soudha and Hudson Circle, which was the same stretch. “Even more shocking is the fact that some contractors had colluded with engineers and submitted photos of [projects] executed in Anekal to claim Rs. 1.68 lakh. Once this came to my attention, I immediately apprised the Commissioner and stopped the payment,” the councillor claimed.
Following these allegations, BBMP Commissioner M. Lakshminarayan decided to constitute a committee to look into the matter.