ROAD SCAM: MEHTA DRAWS LINE IN SAND
» Hours after mid-day highlighted how no FIR has been filed in multi-crore road scam, BMC Commissioner sets Jan 31 deadline for probe panel
HOURS after mid-day’s report on the BMC dragging its feet on the road scam inquest, Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta reacted by setting a deadline for both the first and second phases of the inquiry against the crooked contractors responsible for our shoddy roads. Mehta ordered that the final reports be submitted to him by December 26 and January 31, respectively.
ON Friday, this paper had reported that as far back as April, BMC chief Ajoy Mehta had given orders to register an FIR against the 11 road contractors indicted in the second phase of the road scam investigation. These 11 companies were found guilty of shoddy work, causing losses to the tune of R60 crore to the civic body.
Sources said that the same day, the BMC boss came down heavily on the officials who were given the task of overseeing the investigation — Deputy Municipal Commissioner (Special Engineering) Ramesh Bamble and Chief Engineer (Inquiry) Rajendra Relekar.
A senior civic official said, “On Friday, municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta met the officials who were given charge of conducting the probe. Mehta told them to finish the first phase of the road inquiry by December, and the second phase by January 2018.”
Civic chief says
Speaking to mid-day, Mehta said, “I have told the officials to speed up the inquiry and bring it to conclusion as soon xas possible. If they fail to submit the inquiry report, action will be initiated against them.”
Asked for an update on whether an FIR had been filed in the second phase of the inquiry, Mehta said he would have to check with the concerned department.
After the meeting, Mehta also sent has the officials a note, making it clear that if the inquiry is not concluded by the deadline, action will be taken against them.
Strongly worded memo
Mehta’s memo states: “It is observed that in spite of considerable time period — over one year — the inquiry is not yet complete… The progress of inquiry is very slow and unsatisfactory. In cases where large misappropriation of public money has taken place, there has to be immediate action, in terms of fixing responsibility and awarding punishments.”
The note further reads, “DMC (SE) and Chief Engineer (Inquiry) to please note that if timeline is not followed strictly, it will be presumed that you are not working in the interest of MCGM, and are supporting the delinquents by delaying the inquiry. Action deemed fit will be initiated against you.”
‘I have told them to speed up the inquiry. If they fail, action will be initiated against them’ BMC chief, Ajoy Mehta
The BMC chief had ordered an FIR to be filed against 11 road contractors in April, but no case was filed; (inset) mid-day’s Nov 10 report on the delay in action
The BMC had indicted 11 contractors for shoddy road work in April, but no further action was taken
mid-day’s November 10 report on the delay in action