Unfinished drainage work has left behind a puddle on Lake Road in Ranchi on Sunday. Picture by Prashant Mitra
The Ranchi Municipal Corporation has cracked the whip on a construction firm for failing to start work even a year after it was given the contract to lay a drain in the capital, sending out a stern message to all other agencies delaying various projects on frivolous grounds.
Following a complaint from deputy mayor Sanjeev Vijayvargiya, the civic body’s CEO Manoj Kumar reviewed the progress of work on the proposed 500ft drain between Nigam Park and Marwari College on Saturday and found that the company, Rudra Construction, was yet to start work. The delay is compelling people to live in unhygienic conditions as sewer water is spilling on to the road.
Setting an example for “defaulters”, the RMC cancelled a work order worth Rs 40 lakh given to Rudra Construction, owned by one Ajay Singh of Hindpiri, and blacklisted it. The civic authorities also seized the firm’s security amount of Rs 2 lakh deposited against the work order.
“The deputy mayor sent me a missive on Friday. Earlier, residents and councillor of ward 26 too had lodged complaints against the company for delaying work. I reviewed the matter yesterday. Rudra Construction has been blacklisted and its security deposit has been forfeited,” the CEO said.
Kumar added that the step was taken to give a message to contractors who had been taking the corporation for granted. “Any excuse for delay in work or no work cannot be entertained,” he added.
The RMC had floated a tender in February 2013 for a 3,000-feet-long drainage channel from Maheswari Bhavan to Marwari College. Two agencies — Sanjay Construction and Rudra Construction — bagged the orders.
According to agreement, the Rs 1 crore work was divided into two parts. Sanjay Construction was asked to build a 2,500ft stretch between Maheswari Bhavan in Upper Bazaar and Nigam Park while Rudra Construction was to build the rest till Marwari College where the drain would merge with the city’s main sewer system. The project was supposed to be completed by the end of last year.
While Sanjay Construction completed its portion within stipulated time, the rogue firm did not even start work.
With the civic body scrapping the work order for the remaining portion of the drain, the local residents rue that their plight will continue.
When asked how long would the local residents have to put up with the problem of waterlogging, Kumar said the civic body was looking for alternatives. “Work cannot be left half done. It is a general practice among some contractors — they first delay work and then negotiate for an increase in the project cost. Rudra Construction was sent notice thrice in the past to explain the progress of work but to no avail.”