Crater Hyderabad: GHMC, contractors in blame game

Civic Body Supplying Poor Quality Road Material: Contractors
Next time when you come across a pothole-ridden road, blame the blacklisted contractors for the shoddy road repairs who are forced to procure sub-standard material from two of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation’s BT mixing plants.
A day after a techie’s scooter fell into a pothole and he died of injuries, investigations carried out by TOI revealed how the GHMC has been awarding contracts to firms and individuals who have been in the past black-listed for poor civic work.

They in turn blame the GHMC for forcing them to use sub-standard materials. “It’s the GHMC which fails to provide us with the right kind of material as prescribed by the central government. Even if it is to be consi dered that the contractors are doing a shoddy job, what is the civic body’s quality control cell doing about it,“ R Hanumanth Sagar, general secreta ry, Contractors Association of GHMC, told TOI.

He also said the quality of bitumen procured from the GHMC’s mixing plants located at Chudi Bazaar and Krishnakanth Park is not of good quality . “It is just not good enough and do not meet the prescribed standards specified by the ministry of road transport and highways,“ he added.

Apart from regular road cutting work by telecom companies and the water board, the shoddy repair and restoration work can also be blamed on some contractors who were black-listed in the recent past, but have somehow managed to win contracts again. Incidentally , four years ago, the GHMC had blacklisted some contractors for a period of two-years. But, now that the period has come to an end, they are eligible to participate in the bidding process.

The contractors R Anand, Vemula Srinivasulu, Irfan Ahmed, Ms Sri Laxmi WLCCS, Vemula Raju, Ch Raju Reddy , Kommula Laxmaiah and K Murali Krishna, were all banned from carrying out any civic work following multiple complaints. “Now they are all back. The contractors who win the tenders to lay the roads use poor quality material. The longevity of the road depends on the material that they are using. In some cases we have noticed that the contractors use substandard bitumen mix, which lessens the life of the road,“ said a top official on condition of anonymity .There have been cases where contractors have substituted the recommended river-sand with fly ash to build cement concrete (CC) roads, another official added.

As a result, an astounding road length of 1,800 kilometres has been damaged in the city limits, and most of it is in Jubilee Hills, Banjara Hills, Ameerpet, S R Nagar, Hi-Tec City , Srinagar Colony and Madhapur.“Two-weeks ago, the civic body had relaid the road on Road No 10, but it vanished faster than it was laid.Now, there are potholes everywhere,“ rued T Nanda Kumar, a resident of Brindavan Colony , who is forced to bear with the pockmarked roads everyday for his work-place commute.

While the GHMC is trying to shield itself by saying that it has blacklisted contractors who failed to adhere to the prescribed standards or complete the road-laying work on time, the condition of the roads speak volumes about quality control and also raises the question as how they get these contracts despite a dubious track record.

“There is lot of pressure on the officers from the corporators asking them to award the contracts to their kin,“ alleged Hanumanth Sagar.In some cases, the blacklisted contractors are using `fake names’ to win the contracts, revealed a source in the civic body .GHMC chief engineer Suresh Kumar said since the blacklisted period is over, the contractors are being chosen again.“But these are serious issues and we will probe and get to the bottom of it,“ he added.

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