Mumbai: The BMC’s audit department has issued over 13 lakh audit notes on civic projects since 1974, pointing out financial irregularities to the tune of Rs 2,852 crore in tenders awarded and also in the work done. The amount also includes outstanding bills from the property tax and water departments.
Most of these notes are related to financial irregularities or mismanagement in the civic body. The municipal chief auditor (MCA) is a part of the civic standing committee and his main duty is to oversee expenditure made by the civic administration. Bill payments, tender rates and receipts are all verified by his office.
The maximum number of audit notes has been issued to the octroi department—octroi evasion is one of the biggest problems ailing the BMC. There have been over 34,000 notes written by the MCA to the octroi department. About Rs 40 crore is yet to be recovered from people who have evaded octroi. With the BMC planning to scrap octroi and switch to local body tax (LBT) from October, there is little chance of recovering the money.
There have also been notes regarding irregularities in tenders awarded by the education department; the tenders were floated with inflated rates than what was estimated.
The notes also pointed out that the BMC has lost revenue due to the delay in several projects. Delay in upgradation of municipal hospitals has cost the civic body an additional Rs 26 crore. More than 14,000 audit notes were issued, but a negligible amount was taken seriously by the health department.
V Satpute, the chief auditor, said they have been sending these notes but very little action is taken on them.
“There are several audit reports that are yet to be even accepted by the municipal commissioners, they have been pending for a long time now,” said Satpute.
He also said staff shortage was a major problem in the department, with over 335 posts lying vacant.
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