Thursday, August 26, 2010

Rs 1 lakh needed, Rs 27 lakh spent to tar half km

Daily revelations of financial impropriety in contracts connected with the Commonwealth Games have blown the lid off expenses overstatements and consequent siphoning of money. RTI revelations accessed by TOI show that road works in Bangalore are being done at costs that seem totally disproportionate to the actual work executed. Did you know that for asphalting a 500-metre stretch on Gangamma Gudi Road, the BBMP spent a whopping Rs 27 lakh? This, when urban planners say that laying a kilometre of asphalted road should cost just Rs 2 lakh! ‘Asphalting to 4th cross, Shivaram Karanth Road from Maruthi Circle to 3rd main’ — a stretch of ‘6.5 metres’ — cost the BBMP a whopping Rs 49 lakh. Figures revealed in response to an RTI application filed by SCB Patil, a resident of Bannerghatta Road seeking information on road works carried out from March 2008 to December 2009, are mind-boggling. Asphalting a 1.3-km stretch from Narayanaswamy Circle to Weavers’ Colony dead end via Lakshimpura, Brindhavannagara and Weavers Colony cost Rs 28 lakh. For asphalting to Ramanjaneya Road from Pipeline Road to 13th main Srinagara — a stretch of 400 metres — Rs 25 lakh was paid. MN Sreehari, adviser to the Karnataka government on traffic, transportation and infrastructure, told TOI it should cost only Rs 2 lakh to asphalt 1 km of road in normal circumstances. The figures mentioned above all are in multiples of that.

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