How BBMP engineers almost got away with scam

By Manoj Sharma

Some officials in the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) know how to take advantage of out of a sticky situation. The civic body’s plans to set up a bitumen plant in Bengaluru provided that perfect opportunity, and an opportunity to earn a groovy Rs 150 crore, to a group of engineers from the Road Infrastructure division. Thankfully the scam used to be nipped in the bud by the BBMP leader, N Manjunatha Prasad.

Two years in the past, the engineers had approved comfortable from a bidder at an exorbitant value of Rs 350 crore for one plant (BBMP had plans to set up 4), even if the contractor had nothing more to spend money on it rather then bitumen and gas (for the trucks) as the BBMP used to be already providing the land and different infrastructure needed for the plants. The value of bitumen quoted by the bidder – and authorized by those stated engineers – used to be just about double of what it should had been, taking into consideration BBMP’s funding.

The BBMP leader’s letter says the project used to be cleared by Chief Engineer (Road Infrastructure) however does no longer title the officer. The same officer, who is no longer in the street infrastructure division, used to be raided by the ACB over corruption allegations ultimate 12 months. In 2012, he used to be suspended for 6 months over integrity issues.

An engineer, who did not want to be known, instructed BM: “The value of bitumen at that time used to be Rs 7,000 and Rs 7,250 [for the 2 kinds of bitumen had to asphalt a street]. After the capital funding made by the BBMP, the bidder simplest needed to spend money on the combination and gas, for which it had to quote not more than Rs three,500 to Rs 4,000. But the Chief Engineer agreed to present the full marketplace value, and that too for a duration of 10 years, claiming there used to be an build up in the Wholesale Price Index.”
The leader engineer who submitted this proposal to the Commissioner for his approval currently holds the same place in a distinct division of the BBMP.


ABOUT THAT PROPOSAL

The BBMP had deliberate to set up 4 bitumen plants in the city and invited tenders on November 23, 2015 for set up, commissioning and upkeep for a duration of 10 years.

It had also introduced to offer land and required infrastructure for this in Kannur Village in the outskirts of Bengaluru.
A BBMP reliable explained: “Two forms of mixes are used to arrange asphalt. Bitumen macadam is the first layer used in the filling of potholes; bitumen concrete (BC) is the second one. Currently, bitumen macadam costs Rs 7,120 per cubic metre mix while BC costs Rs 8,118 per cubic metre mix.”

The bidder had quoted Rs five.6 crore to install equipment and deal with the plant for 10 years; dense bitumen macadam at Rs 7,000 per cubic mt mix (Rs 10.08 crore for 1,440 tonnes per 12 months); and bitumen concrete at Rs 7,250 (Rs 24.36 crore for 33,600 tonnes). Altogether, it quoted Rs 35 crore per 12 months to deal with just one plant.

Even at that exploitative value, the engineers finalised the bidder for Rs 350 crore for a duration of 10 years, and despatched the approval and comfortable process to the Commissioner for his approval. However, the irregularities in the comfortable procedure caused the BBMP to eventually scrap the plan to set up those plants.




TERMS OF PAYMENT

Even the cost procedure used to be a transparent scam. Engineers that Bangalore Mirror spoke to described it as “laughable”.
“While the BBMP is not ready to pay pourakarmikas correctly, the terms of cost in this case stated the BBMP would pay 70 per cent of the money even earlier than the work is proven positive.”

The terms learn: “70 per cent cost can be released after provide of the HMP and its set up, 20 per cent can be released after satisfactory commissioning; 10 per cent cost can be released after crowning glory of 10 years.”

Clearly, it had been set to fit the handful of BBMP engineers who deliberate to siphon off taxpayers’ cash. But that dream never reached fruition. BBMP Commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad, who went throughout the documents, scrapped the project with this letter:
“The BBMP is sparing the land, financing the set up for asphalt plant thus agency is simply an operator who provides the asphalt mixes on the funding of BBMP. It is the expectation of BBMP that the asphalt mixes be given at a fee much below the marketplace fee for the amenities equipped by the BBMP. But in this case, the operator is quoting perfect fee per tonne as may well be observed from the enclosed statements. Thus, it can be observed that the aim of providing land machinery is defeated.”

“Chief Engineer (Road Infrastructure) having advisable the proposal has failed in application of mind at the consequential losses that BBMP would undergo by implementing the proposal. From the comfortable research of Chief Engineer of Road Infrastructure recommending the proposal, the BBMP would have incurred a lack of Rs 150 crore.”

Manjunatha Prasad also asked the Special Commissioner (Projects) of BBMP to “evaluation such distinctive proposal with higher care”.

ONCE BITTEN…

After going via that wasteful procedure, it is no surprise that the civic body leader is just a little sceptical of such initiatives now.
He instructed BM: “The project involved many irregularities, and in the best way the comfortable procedure had taken place, it used to be transparent [that the engineers had not been mindful of the losses BBMP will incur as a result]. I needed to reject the plant, and the proposal regarded more like an try to loot cash. I later warned the officials to not carry such proposals. Also, I feel, if street works are taken up correctly, there could also be no need for such plants in any respect.”

Explaining the need for bitumen plants in Bengaluru, a BBMP reliable stated that the bitumen currently comes from Mangaluru for asphalting work in the city. “A plant in Bengaluru will ensure that availability of bitumen at all times and there won’t be any delay in any street work akin to filling of potholes or re-laying the street.”



How BBMP engineers almost got away with scam How BBMP engineers almost got away with scam Reviewed by kailash soni on July 11, 2018 Rating: 5
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