It is not dearth of funds but extreme bureaucratic lethargy that has allowed civic infrastructure to go to the dogs, which is reflected in the growing list of road deaths. Sample this: It has been four years since an amount of Rs 15 crore was released by the industrial development department under the Assistance to States for Infrastructure Development of Exports (ASIDE) scheme for development of infrastructure in Whitefield area; but not a single rupee has been spent so far.
Gaurav Gupta, the commissioner for industrial development, has alleged that they released the money for the construction of an underpass and formation of roads in Whitefield Industrial area. “But despite the passage of four years, not a single work has been executed and the civic agency has failed to execute the project,” Gupta said. During a review meeting in June 2015, even chief secretary Kaushik Mukherjee was critical of the lack of progress on the project.
The BBMP did nothing even after Mukherjee directed the civic authority to utilise the sanctioned funds and submit it to the central government’s commerce department. Gupta said he had discussed the issue with BBMP commissioner G Kumar Naik on July 7, 2015 and given him a letter on the project.
BBMP’s executive engineer Raghavendra Prasad (Major Roads) blamed the BWSSB for the work not being done. “The work was not fully implemented as the BWSSB had started laying of water and sanitary lines in the Whitefield area. The BWSSB had dug up the area around 28 ft deep and it is unable to restore it. The BWSSB officials have promised that the work would be completed in a week’s time and then we will take up the developmental works in the area,” said Prasad.
However, according to the Gupta, the officials of Visvesvaraya Trade and Promotion Centre had visited Whitefield to see the progress of ASIDE work and after holding discussions with the contractor concerned, said that the BBMP has not made him any payment which was affecting the work. Now it’s the chief secretary’s responsibility to take up the matter, sources said.
The Buck rampant and it ain’t stopping
BBMP points finger at BWSSB
According to the documents accessed by Bangalore Mirror, the BWSSB has dug all the roads falling under the EPIP – Phase II. “As the roads are dug up illegally, we have filed a police complaint at the local police station. We had stopped the work and BWSSB was asked to obtain permission from the civic body. We are requesting the BBMP commissioner to hold talks with BWSSB managing director,” said Prasad.
Road connects to ITPL
‘The BBMP engineers maintained that due to people not obtaining TDR, the work was affected. An engineer said, “Widening of road is BBMP’s work and to do this, the streetlight poles need to be shifted. Until the local residents obtain the TDR and properties are acquired, these poles cannot be shifted.”
Non-cooperation from locals
‘Prasad said the entire work is also affected because of the non-cooperation of local residents. He wrote a letter to Mahadevapura zone joint commissioner on September 9, 2015 stating that widening of the 1.6 km stretch from Siddapura to Nallurahalli was affected for the past two years and the acquisition of property was getting delayed. The BBMP identified 82 properties to be acquired; but only 18 property owners had shown interest in obtaining TDR for the project.
Work order was issued in 2013
* The central government has sanctioned Rs 46 crore under the ASIDE project on February 15, 2011 and the first installment of Rs 20 crore was received by the state government. Out of which Rs 15 crore were handed over to the BBMP.
* Interestingly, the project would have been completed by March 2012, but apathetic BBMP officials issued the work order only on February 3, 2013.
* Under the Rs 46 crore project, ASIDE’s share is Rs 20 crore while the BBMP share is Rs 26 crore.
* Prasad claims that 60 percent of the work is been executed and completed, which amounts to Rs 14 crore.
* The work affected is in Siddapura, Nallurahalli and surroundings of Vydehi hospital. * According to the tender norms, the total work cost escalated to Rs 47.06 crore.
Finish work, or else pay interest
Gupta reminded the BBMP to finish the work, or the civic agency would end up paying 10 per cent interest on the sanctioned Rs 15 crore. He said, “The central commerce department in its letter dated February 15, 2011 had reminded the BBMP to complete the work by March 31, 2012 and also asked it to send the utilisation certificate for the released amount. If it fails to complete the work, it had threatened to collect 10 per cent interest on the released amount.”