Will review decision to reduce blacklisted contractors’ penalty, says Mumbai civic chief

Taking cognisance of a two-member panel’s decision to bring blacklisted contractors back in the race to bag new contracts, civic chief Ajoy Mehta has said that he will review the panel’s decision and will give a final nod soon.

The penalty period given to blacklisted contractors has been reduced to allegedly convenience their entry to bid for the ₹100-crore garbage collection contract. “I will take a serious review of the panel’s decision. A final call on this matter will soon be given,” said Mehta.

Two civic contractors, Buildwell Construction and HMV Associates, were blacklisted for six years after an internal inquiry found them guilty of submitting bills in a sewerage project that had not been executed. The contractors then approached the additional municipal commissioner (AMC) to reduce their punishment period from six to four years. The AMC then referred the plea to a panel of two deputy municipal commissioners, who were to take a final call after considering the contractors’ merit and past work experience.

Rais Shaikh, Samajwadi Party leader, who had written to the civic chief to look into the matter, said, “This is a mockery of justice. The panel cited that the punishment period is being reduced considering that they are experienced. These two contractors are now bidding for the garbage collection work. This is a dangerous situation as it will give possibilities for other blacklisted contractors to get more contracts.”

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