Mumbai: Forest department fines RE Infra Rs 10 crore dumping of construction waste in mangroves

Sagar Pillai, The Free Press Journal  May 18 2017

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One of the 32 contractors, RE Infra, blacklisted in the de-silting scam is now being penalised two years after the scam was unearthed. After Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) initiated action against the tainted contractor, the forest department has imposed a fine of Rs 10 crore on RE Infra for illegal dumping of construction waste in mangroves and wetland.

The tainted contractor was roped in for de-silting Rafi Nagar Nullah at Govandi and was blacklisted in 2015 after it was unearthed that fake bills were submitted to the civic body by them.

While the civic body is still scrutinising the nexus between the contractors and officials, Free Press Journal was the first to reveal that the blacklisted contractor sold construction waste to contractors de-silting the drains to add weight and increase the number of trips from the drains to the dumping grounds.

It has been further revealed that RE Infra has not only violated the norms but has carried out the entire de-silting work without obtaining No Objection Certificate (NOC) from several departments to evade royalty charges.

According to a senior forest official, the fine amount will be decided by calculating the area illegally used by the contractor for dumping waste along with the fine amount for carrying out the dumping without a NOC.

He added, “We will look at all aspects of illegally dumping and will thoroughly check the area. The fine amount is roughly around Rs 10 crore. Also, strict action will be taken against officials that have ignored such practices.”

BMC’s Govandi (M-east) ward recently issued a notice to blacklisted contractor RE Infra imposing a fine of Rs 42.81 crore for illegally dumping of construction waste.

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