In an audit report, the NGO Janaagraha has said that the civic body doesn’t even keep track of which of their works is completed.

Wonder why Bengaluru is in a mess Less than 4 of BBMPs budget for new works spent
news Civic issues Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 19:43

Bengaluru’s roads have countless potholes, there are flyovers that haven’t been completed for years together. The city’s drainage system is not the most efficient either. “Dangerous” is what the IMD Chief in Bengaluru said after parts of the city were flooded with only 3 cm of rainfall.

So why is the city in such a mess? A closer look at the BBMP’s financial books may give us one of the reasons - the city simply isn’t spending enough, even when they have the budget for it.

An audit report of the BBMP’s expenditure in the first half 2017-2018  by Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy reveals that in the last six months, the civic body has spent just Rs 177 crore on current works - projects announced in this fiscal year. This is a dismal 3.9% of their annual allocated budget of Rs 4,482 crore. Which means, either the BBMP has planned to spend 96% of this money in the next 6 months, or they simply haven’t planned their works properly.

INR in Crores

BE 17-18

H1 17-18

% spend

Current work

4,482

177

3.9

Pending bills

1,171

1,198

102.3

Spillover work

2,134

655

30.7

Total

7,788

2,030

26.

Source: BBMP Budget 17-18, Bills Register April ‘17-Sep’17 via Janagraha

As far as tenders are concerned, 2,515 Job Codes were raised from 1 April 2017 to 30 September 2017 for Rs 1,206 crores.

“If they were looking at Rs 6000 crore of work to be implemented this year, on an average they should be doing Rs 1500 crore per quarter. This means there is a lot of catching up to do,” Sapna Karim, Head of Civic Participation of Janaagraha said.

“Up to 30 September 2017, INR 2,030 crores has been spent – out of which INR 1,853 crores was towards pending bills and spillover works while only INR 177 crores was towards current works (capital and maintenance),” the report says.

In fact, their planning is so poor that they don’t even know which of their previously contracted works are complete, says Janaagraha. While they budgeted Rs 1,171 crore for pending bills (from previous fiscals), they’ve already exceeded that by Rs 27 crore.

The reason for this is poor project management practices by the BBMP, Sapna said.

“There is a lack of a proper project management system. BBMP does not know about many of the pending works that are happening. It is only when a bill comes into the system, that people get to know that a certain work is done. The lifecycle of a project is not tracked scientifically, hence, the actual allocation for pending bills is never accurate,” Sapna told TNM.

“For BBMP to focus on works budgeted for the current year, it is essential to address the issue of pending bills year on year,” the report notes.

On the brighter side, the BBMP has collected Rs 1723 crore, its highest property tax collection compared to last five years.

 

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