In its bid to go cashless, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) commissioner Ajoy Mehta today said the civic body is in process to ensure that its contractors, labourers and employees are paid the wages through Real-Time Gross Settlement Systems (RTGS) only. "As for going cashless is concerned, we have already started work on ensuring that payments are not just made through cheques, but through RTGS. A lot of people are working through contractors, but at the time of getting payments, they receive it only after cuts," he said. "Since we are also bound by the minimum wages, therefore, we have asked the contractors to pay their employees through RTGS only," said Mehta during a media interaction at the Mumbai Press Club. The senior IAS officer outlined the pragmatic steps taken by the administration to curb menace of road scams, saying "no body will be spared". "For the first time in the history, officers of the rank of chief engineer were put behind the bars and for the first time in the history, corporation has fixed 'criminal liability' for the works which have not been done correctly, something which was earlier limited to civil liability only," he said. "The BMC administration has held back Rs 905 crore of the deposits of the contractors who have been, prima facie, found guilty of flouting prescribed norms of road repairs," the Commissioner said. Replying to a query, Mehta said, "This money will not be paid back to the contractors till they come out clean in scrutiny or inquiry." Mehta, a 1984 batch IAS officer from Maharashtra, took over as the civic body chief in April 2015. He, however, parried the question on whether there was "mafia-raj" prevailing in BMC as charged by a few political parties. Mehta said it was very unfortunate that the footpaths of the megapolis were neglected for so long. "Yes, I have no hesitation to admit that footpaths across the city have been neglected badly.
Even my parents cannot walk on the footpath owing to bad conditions. I have fixed the responsibility on the concerned ward officer to tackle this (issue)," he said.
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