Former BJP corporator NR Ramesh levels massive irregularities in white-topping project
The Siddaramaiah-led Congress government had taken up white-topping of prominent Bengaluru roads. White-topping is a procedure used to lay concrete on asphalted roads to prevent pothole formation and better endurance levels of the roads. NR Ramesh, a former BJP corporator of the Yediyur ward has levelled serious allegations and corruption in the entire process.
Bengaluru: NR Ramesh, Bengaluru urban district BJP spokesperson and former corporator, Yediyur ward has levelled serious charges of corruption in relation to the white-topping of Bengaluru streets taken up during the year 2016-17 under former CM Siddarmaiah’s regime.
At a press conference in the city, he gave out the details of the corruption in the project.
In all, the white-topping project was taken up in three phases.
In the first phase, tender was issued to white-top as many as 29 roads (93.47 kms) in two packages at a cost of Rs 1,147.76 crore.
In the second phase, tender was issues to white-top as many as 41 roads (62.80 kms) in eight packages at a cost of Rs 758.56 crore.
In the third phase, tender was issued to white-top as many as 89 roads (123 kms) at a cost of Rs 1,139 crore.
Now to some of the important charges of corruption in relation to the first two packages of the phase 1 and eight packages of the second phase.
1. The estimate for a cubic metre of stone dust has been increased to Rs 2500 per cubic foot (as against Rs 1350 in the original estimate), leading to a loss of Rs 67,50,000
2. As per the terms and conditions of the project, the thickness of concrete should have been 180mm. But it has been reduced to 172-176mm, thereby not reducing the quality of the roads.
3. There is no clarity on what the status of the slabs used to cover the drains in the white-topped roads is. There is a growing doubt that these covering slabs have been sold by contractors at exorbitant rates, thereby pocketing crores of rupees.
4. Similarly, the contractors have allegedly sold off interlocking paver blocks, thereby pocketing crores of rupees. It is to be noted that these paver blocks are incorporated on pavements and 75% of these blocks on all white-topped roads were in a healthy condition.
These are some of the irregularities mentioned by the former corporator.