“Violations go unnoticed in NMC, honest entrepreneurs are not due” | Nagpur News
C Vijay Nayudu (54) has been President of the Nagpur Municipal Corporation Contractors’ Welfare Association for 11 years. He graduated as a civil engineer after which he became an entrepreneur. Since 1993, he has worked for the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) and the Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT). In 2000 he worked on the Integrated Road Development Project (IRDP) and made a name for himself with his designs and quality work on Central Avenue. A few days ago, Nayudu exposed a scam at the NMC, alleging that the account and finance manager does not approve invoices if the subcontractors cannot come to a deal. He spoke to YOU on the controversial subject.
Q. Why have you exposed the scam now when you have been aware of it for a long time?
A. I had verbally informed many municipal commissioners and agents of the swindle. I filed a complaint in writing for the first time as the entrepreneurs were facing serious problems due to this corrupt system for the last 10 months. I represent entrepreneurs and I have to fight for their rights. At the same time, I also point out many measures to officials to improve the NMC system. I believe in “Being in the system to change the system”. There isn’t much we can do for the whole country, but we can certainly try to make positive changes in the city where we work and live.
Q. Do the NMC officials, in particular the municipal chief, take notice of your complaints and suggestions?
A. Only a few times. We have learned that NMC officials do not deposit additional performance bond money for selected contractors in the bank. They returned the money to these entrepreneurs for their own gain and also caused financial losses to the NMC. It was a blatant violation and also an injustice to the contractors who did their jobs honestly. In August, I lodged a complaint with the municipal chief asking for action. One of the employees in the Mangalwari zone has been suspended. There are many examples where I have helped the NMC and the city. Even though officials sometimes ignore me, I continue to pursue problems because it is my duty to do so.
Q. Are you satisfied with the quality of the work done by the contractors?
A. Many entrepreneurs are good and do their jobs well. However, I accept that there are a few contractors who engage in substandard work. I always bring this to the attention of entrepreneurs whenever we have our meetings. We discuss shoddy work and the complaints we receive. NMC engineers are also at fault because many of them do not inspect the work at run time. Some engineers are overworked. Lack of staff is another problem. Some contractors take unfair advantage of the situation and earn more by doing substandard work. Some contractors take work below the estimated price and cannot guarantee good quality.
Q. What suggestions did you make to NMC regarding the appropriate use of funds and the planned development of the city?
A. NMC only does road works under the fixed priority fund Rs 15 lakh. The work within the framework of this fund should be suggested by elected officials because they have a better knowledge of the problems and the needs of the people. Many small and congested neighborhoods do not have space for carrying out road works. For the use of this fund, the engineers relay the roads that are already in good condition. We have two planning and executing authorities – NMC and NIT. Certain contractors in collusion with engineers take undue advantage of the existence of the two agencies by overlapping all or part of the work. There should be a common tender cell. Non-technical work should not be left to engineers. Engineers are forced to do anti-encroachment work, remove palisades and so on. Because of this work, they cannot visit the sites and draw good plans. Also, it is necessary to establish a team of honest engineers and Nuisance Detection Squad (NDS) staff at the head office. This team should make surprise visits to the sites, recommend actions and offer suggestions.
Q. What do you think of the demarcation of the neighborhoods?
A. Neighborhood boundaries are based on population. The CNG should also take into account the number of sectors in the neighborhood. Places like Sadar, Mahal, Itwari, etc. have a dense population and the faithful are elected in these localities. They have the ability to secure huge sums of money for their wards. But there are few possibilities for work in their fields. Often times, they schedule work that is not necessary at all. A neighborhood should have all types of areas like congested, uncluttered, developed, undeveloped, etc.