Tainted contractors will not be spared, says Ajoy Mehta

BMC chief promised that footpaths on city roads would be kept only for pedestrians.

Mumbai: Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) chief Ajoy Mehta has vowed that tainted contractors would not be allowed to hold the city for ransom and they would face strict action for failing to carry out road works in the city.

Corporators have alleged that blacklisted contractors, implicated in the road repairs scam, have been turning a blind eye towards carrying out remaining road works in the city. The BMC has suspected misappropriation of Rs 959 crore and has decided to withhold the amount of the contractors till the entire probe is over.

Making a statement on the issue in the standing committee, Mr Mehta said, “The BMC has appointed 17 new contractors to carry out the road works this year. Some of the works were given to tainted contractors before they were blacklisted. They will be dealt with strictly if they fail to carry out these works. Even in case of defect liability period (DLP) road works, the BMC will carry out restoration works if contractors do not carry it out. The repair amount will be recovered from the contractors.”

Later, speaking on his vision on ‘making Mumbai a world class city’ at the Press Club, the BMC chief promised that footpaths on city roads would be kept only for pedestrians. “Footpaths have been neglected very badly in the city. Not only have they been encroached, but they are also being used for other activities, leaving very little space for pedestrians to walk,” he said.

“It’s very scary to walk on city footpaths. I cannot take my 92-year-old father and 88-year-old mother to walk around on footpath. They will trip over. To improve city footpaths, I have asked the ward officers to first take their parents for a walk around on footpaths,” he added.

The BMC’s attempts to widen the Hazarimal Somani Marg near CST is one such attempt to make more footpath space available for pedestrians, he said. “For the first time, we are acquiring the space for widening the footpath at Hazarimal Somani Marg. Till now, the BMC was acquiring land only for road widening. We have asked the collector to hand over the space required for widening of footpaths at Hazarimal Somani Marg,” he said.

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