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Corruption in slum rehabilitation project

February 22, 2007

These are the kind of headlines that make me mad:

Rs 40 crore ($9029345) of the taxpayers money gone!! And this headline is tucked away on page 4 of a tabloid called the Mumbai Mirror which is given free with the Times of India. I could not find this news in the main newspaper. And it is not available online either, although other stories from MM are available. I guess this is how important it is to our nation. A quote from the article:

“Total mismanagement in the financial and administrative functioning of SPPL (Shivshahi Punarvasan Prakalp Limited) has cost the enterprise about Rs 40 crore of the taxpayers money…while verfiying the accounts of SPPL for 2004-05 and 2005-3006, the Accountant General (AG)’s office stumbled on to a number of irregularities. Besides making non-tenable payments to a few builders working with it, it appears that the enterprise also favoured personal staff of ministers in the Democratic Front cabinet.”

And there are plans to make Mumbai a world class city. Just yesterday there was a seminar organised by the Bombay Management Association on this subject – Making Mumbai a world class city. But as city planner Chandrashekhar Prabhu said, it is useless to “club Mumbai with other cities” like Singapore, Shanghai or Hong Kong. The only thing this had done was to give politicians an excuse to take free trips to these cities to “study” them. And now these politicians want to vist Johannessburg and Sydney to “study” these cities! Prabhu said:

“If each department of the muncipal corporation and the government did its duty then things in the city will become world-class.”

This is how Mumbai looks from the outside, to the tourists:

This is the underbelly. And this is the good part of the underbelly. Not the navel!

Related Reading: Dreams and plans for Mumbai slum rehabilitation project
Grim reality of slum development
Street children go without an education
Corrupt officials turn a blind eye to slums on new roads and under flyovers
Indians want health and education spends to increase
We have Forbes billionnaires but we need to cut corruption

 

10 Comments leave one →
  1. ashima permalink
    February 23, 2007 7:42 am

    Is any action being taken against the guilty builders and officials?
    Its hard to believe there is so little an outcry when so much money has been ‘stolen’ by these thieves.

    Unless proper action is taken and such actions condemned, it will keep happening because they are able to get away with it so easily.

  2. February 23, 2007 8:02 am

    No action as yet. The ‘guilty’ people are getting time to answer the charges. If their answers are not found satisfactory then court proceedings could be initiated against them. However, the question remains whether their “answers” will be accepted or not (again the question of bribing the right people) and whether the court case will be filed (again, question of bribing) and then if it reaches this level, the bribing continues so finally no one will be punished. Far too much money to round.
    These kind of scams generally get punished when the media makes a hue and cry or oppostion parties do it. It happens at times, at other times no one bothers.
    Because some people get away, these things keep happening. There is always a chance
    1) that you will never be found out
    2) that even if you are, the bribes will save you

  3. February 23, 2007 8:33 am

    There we go… I had just commented a few days back on this in this same blog and here we have our unfailing govt establishment proving it for me.

  4. February 23, 2007 10:52 am

    Ah, the old phrase “World Class City” – it is one developers and politicians trot out in order to gather support for their development project or political policies. Here too in Canada. There is such concern here by Vancouverites, for example, that the embarrassing presence of the poor, mentally ill and drug addicted street people tarnish its reputation as a “World Class City”. However, there is more to being a world class city than having fabulous amenities and sights for visitors. In my opinion a truly world class city is one which ensures the care of even its poorest and most disenfranchised members, and is livable in a practical sense for all of the people living within it. I really do wonder if there are any world class cities that fit this description, or is the phrase more hot air?

  5. February 24, 2007 7:18 pm

    Example of Law of best intentions misfiring in Mumbai again. We need a directly elected mayor with tenure of atleast three years and overisght and control over the state agencies using tax revenues generated in Mumbai and wasting them away.

    Moving the state capital to Navi Mumbai would also help.

  6. MANOJ permalink
    March 25, 2007 9:29 pm

    THERE ARE VARIOUS SLUM DWELLERS WHO ARE WILLING TO GET INTO A DEVELOPED BUILDINGS BUT THE POLITICIAN AND THE LOCAL GOONS ARE INTERESTED IN TAKING OVER THE ROOMS/HUTS SO THAT THE ELIGIBLE PERSONS ARE AVOIDED. BEING AN ADVOCATE WORKING IN THE INTEREST OF THE SLUM DWELLERS I REALLY FEEL PITY THAT THE ACTUAL USERS OF THE HUTMENTS ARE NOT GIVEN THE REHAB AND THE LAND GRABBERS AND THE SO CALLED POLITICIANS TAKE THE RIGHTS OF THE POOR PEOPLE/HUTMENT DWELLERS.

  7. December 15, 2007 10:16 pm

    It is the fault of officers who arrest small corrupts and leave big corrupts who have political support. Many cases are registered against big corrupts. Only few of the are punished. A police inspector in Assam earned more than 400 crores of property though bribes and illegal collections. An excise inspector in Andhra Pradesh earned around 50 crores of property. Government job is so profitable in India. This is the reason why so many educated people strive for government jobs.

  8. December 17, 2007 9:27 am

    @Proletarian Revolutionary:

    The rot starts at the top no doubt! Also people here think that misusing govt. property is not stealing! These bigwigs are the worst culprits but they protect the ones at the bottom for their own interest as they don’t want to get their hands dirty.

  9. December 17, 2007 9:57 am

    In Andhra Pradesh, even engineer and other highly qualified people also applied for police constable jobs, though minimum qualification required for constable is 10th standard because constable make money through bribes and illegal collections. There are also news that IPS officers are misusing funds released for rehabilitating surrendered naxalites. From police constable to prime minister of India, every public servant involves in corruption.

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