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Project Clean-Up : Not Transparent Enough

by Ann Samuel on September 21, 2007 at 7:35 PM
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Project Clean-Up : Not Transparent Enough

Bangalore's storm water drain re-modeling project - Project Clean-Up, which was kicked off three years back, is hardly progressing.

The project cost has witnessed a shocking 357% rise from Rs 180 crore to Rs 643 crore. This is while there is only 30 percent progress with barely three months left for the new deadline of December 2007.

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The delay is telling: work should have been completed 18 months from mid-2003 when the works were notified. In the middle of all this, BBMP has come under a cloud for excess billing, and an inquiry is on. The Garden City's woe-the 252-km-long major valleys filled with excess siltation, debris dumps, weak retention walls and faulty culverts and bridges — remain so, and worse, the Project Clean-Up smells of a scam.

Experts said the project is bound by unrealistic estimates, frequent structural concept changes, and price negotiation. Take for instance this- the Hebbal valley desilting cost was estimated at Rs 68 per cubic meter. But the price fixed was Rs 210, a hike of 308%. Koramangala valley, too, suffered a similar 195% hike. Valley embankment designs saw a sea change — from earthen bunds to side-stone masonry to RCC structures. As a result, costs rocketed from Rs 100/cubic meter to Rs 400/ cubic meter. Some 10.9 lakh cubic meters of silt was estimated from the four valleys; but records show 14 lakh cubic meters were desilted. In most cases, the estimates and costs do not tally.
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A BBMP engineer was quoted: "Unrealistic estimates and delay-triggered cost overruns have hampered the project. For instance, in a bid to rationalize the price of foundation concrete, the price was fixed as low as Rs 850, though Rs 2,900 had been quoted. The critical works are pending and only the easier bits have been taken up."

Source: Medindia
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