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IRC standards ‘not mandatory’ for building flyovers, claims BBMP

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The Hindu         06.12.2017  

IRC standards ‘not mandatory’ for building flyovers, claims BBMP

It justifies 4.5 m vertical clearance for the proposed steel flyover

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) on Tuesday claimed before the High Court of Karnataka that Indian Road Congress (IRC) standards were not mandatory for construction of flyovers and the standards specified could be altered depending upon local requirement.

BBMP’s counsel made this submission before a Division Bench comprising acting Chief Justice H.G. Ramesh and Justice P.S. Dinesh Kumar during the hearing on a public interest litigation petition challenging the legality of construction of a steel flyover at Shivananda Circle in the city for various factors, including for not complying to the IRC standards.

Justifying the 4.5 m vertical clearance below the proposed flyover at the Shivananda junction, it was contended on behalf of the BBMP that a minimum vertical clearance of 5.5 m as per the IRC standards cannot be provided as the existing railway underpass nearby does not permit increasing the length of the flyover to provide 5.5 m vertical clearance and the corresponding gradient.

Meanwhile, counsel for the petitioner claimed that construction of a flyover at Shivananda Circle has no logic when the IRC standards cannot be applied keeping in mind the safety of road users, and cited a report, given by an expert on road engineering to the petitioners, in support of this claim.

However, counsel for the BBMP claimed that the flyover would not cause any hardship to road users or motorists, and added that the design of the flyover had been certified by experts from the Indian Institute of Science.

The Bench adjourned hearing till Wednesday while stating that the court was anxious to know whether allowing the flyover sans IRC standards would be in public interest or not. The court asked counsel for the BBMP and the petitioner about possibility of securing a report from an independent expert about the safety aspect of the present design of the flyover.


BBMP finds Rs. 213 cr. in its old accounts

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The Hindu       06.12.2017

BBMP finds Rs. 213 cr. in its old accounts

Civic body going through over 600 bank accounts it holds; ‘unspent amount’ used to clear bills

A financial spring cleaning exercise by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) threw up a pleasant surprise for the cash-strapped civic body. At a time when it claims that its coffers are running low, it stumbled upon unspent money of over Rs. 200 crore in around 50 ‘dormant bank accounts’ recently.

The BBMP has over 630 accounts in various banks across the city. To bring in financial prudence into the system, the civic body decided to consolidate its accounts and close the unnecessary ones. In the process, the Chief Accounts Officer (CAO) and his staff found these dormant accounts with five-digit account numbers.

“When we began verifying the list of 630 accounts, we found some five-digit account numbers. Clearly, these were before core banking was adopted by the banks. We approached the respective banks and found that these accounts had unspent amount of Rs. 213 crore,” the source said.

This “unspent amount” was used by the BBMP to clear a part of the garbage bills and Bescom bills for street lights, and repay a part of the HUDCO loan.

It is likely that the BBMP will unearth more forgotten funds as it sifts through hundreds of accounts. Sources in the office of the CAO told The Hindu that another 35 dormant accounts were found on Saturday. However, they are yet to ascertain the amount deposited in them.

Total no. of ‘dormant accounts’ found: 85

Total no. of accounts held by BBMP: Over 630

No. of active accounts: 419


BMC chief seeks stormwater drain work review

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The Times of India        05.12.2017  

BMC chief seeks stormwater drain work review

BMC headquarters.
MUMBAI: Suspecting yet another scam in the civic stormwater drain (SWD) department, municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta has ordered a review of its around 100 works currently being carried out across the city.

At last week's monthly review meeting, Mehta was shocked to find that stormwater drain works were proposed on the road opposite Bombay High Court, on P J Ramchandani Marg near The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel and near Eros cinema though these areas do not get waterlogged. He also pointed out that the surrounding areas have never been flooded even on heavy rain days. "There is no reason to take up stormwater drain works in areas where there has been no flooding or even in their peripheral areas," said Mehta. "Therefore, I have asked for the works to be reviewed immediately." The BMC chief has sought the review report within a week.

It is pertinent to note that the cost of digging and re-laying roads for stormwater drains is much higher compared to regular road work.

SP leader in the BMC Rais Shaikh said he was not surprised as in his ward itself, SWD work has been proposed near Claire Road in Byculla though there is no need for the same. "The department, in a rush to use the proposed funds, proposes work even in areas where not required, thereby disrupting traffic movement," claimed Shaikh, adding that 'such unnecessary road works only inconvenience citizens'.

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