Last year, new Ahmedabad municipal commissioner M Thennarasan visited a water pumping station at Helmet Crossroads as part of a surprise check. But what he found may not have been a surprise. The staff were fewer than what the contractor agreed to in the tender, claimed a national newspaper.
As a follow-up action, the commissioner ordered the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) vigilance department to inspect every water pump – approximately 200 of them – in the city. The vigilance department observed that 40 pumping stations were functioning without staff. The report added that the department had already started penalising companies who were awarded the contract.
Not much seems to have changed a year later. It has emerged that numerous pumping stations in the city are cutting costs by recruiting far fewer staff than what is specified in the contract.
“The vigilance department has submitted its report to the commissioner, but as of now, no penalties have been collected from the defaulting contractors,” an official told the daily.
Ironically, the defaulting contractors will be part of a proposal to extend contracts for the maintenance of 150 pumping stations. As of now, the defaulting contractors are managing 40 pumping stations. According to the media report, the contract extension proposal mentions a monthly maintenance charge of Rs 98.67 lakh for 150-odd pumping stations.
The vigilance AMC report also highlighted that while many of the contracts ended, the contractors functioned without tenders. Since continuing with the old contractors was more economically viable, new tenders weren’t floated.
Also Read: Dhoni’s CSK Closing In On Hardik’s Gujarat Titans