350-cr scam in HMDA

350-cr scam in HMDA
Highlights

A major scam of about Rs 350 crore in HMDA has come to light. As part of the ORR project 158-km long 8-lane road was to be built and the works were divided into 13 packages with an estimated cost of Rs 6,700 crore. 

Bills paid in full for incomplete projects on ORR

Hyderabad: A major scam of about Rs 350 crore in HMDA has come to light. As part of the ORR project 158-km long 8-lane road was to be built and the works were divided into 13 packages with an estimated cost of Rs 6,700 crore.

The companies which had bagged the tenders were paid the bills in full though they had not completed some of the projects such as highway traffic management system (HTMS), toll plaza, toll administrative building and noise barriers.

According to information obtained through an RTI application, these works were not removed from the revised agreements with the companies which were accorded the packages.

As per rules if the companies fail to adhere to the agreement a revised agreement should be entered into deleting the works which have not been completed and payments should be made accordingly.

But instead the HMDA has paid full agreement amount to the contractors and have now called for fresh tenders to complete the leftover works.

The highway traffic management system at ORR which costs around Rs 167 crore is meant to collect information on density of traffic, incident management, emergency communication system, mobile communication system, variable message sign system, meteorological data system, automatic traffic counter- cum- classifier system and power supply system.

The contractors also did not complete works on 19 toll plazas is Rs 50.73 crore.As if this was not enough, the contractors did not complete the works on 21 toll administrative buildings which cost Rs 92 crore.

The administrative building shall primarily house the main control centre, security headquarters and data processing units. It also includes other secondary facilities such as office space, computer room, sanitary facilities and canteen. The concessionaire was also supposed to provide noise barriers on either side of ORR. But they failed to do so.

Reacting to it, M Srinivas, CPI(M) Greater Hyderabad Central City Committee secretary, who obtained the information through an RTI application, said that as the HMDA has now called for fresh tenders, it would put an additional financial burden of Rs 350 crore on the exchequer.

Interestingly, the HMDA was asked by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to pay penalty of Rs 37 crore for not completing the project on schedule, he said. Though the delay is on the part of contractors, the HMDA has taken upon itself to bear that burden as well.

He demanded that a team of officials be constituted to probe into the matter. When asked about it, a senior HMDA official said they were ready to show the documents for verification as per rules. He said that no scam had taken place and payments were made after physical verification of the works done.

He refused to give any further clarification. However, the RTI report says that the works pertaining to these four projects have not been removed from the agreement. This clearly indicates that the amount for the works not done were paid, said Srinivas.

When contacted, TRS city leaders refused to comment saying that they were not aware of the issue.

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