BMC’s tender for providing the services and maintenance of silt, drying system at Dadar Silt yard for five years for main sewer city section department (e-Tender No 7100135583) worth crores was applied and won based on bogus certification and possibly incorrect information by the contractor called Girish Khandagale owner of Girish Enterprises Pvt. Ltd. He is a new entrant and has been bidding on other projects by BMC as well. To fulfill the criteria of this said tender, Girish Khandagale provided a fake certification of expertise issued by Mahabal Enviro Engineers Pvt. Ltd., the company that deals with Environmental Consultancy & Legal Services. The tender was won by Girish Khandagale, a businessman who claimed that he had the relevant certification and experience to carry out the job. When RTI activist enquired with Mahabal Enviro Engineers Pvt. Ltd., the company clearly denied and said these certificates are not genuine and also technically incorrect. The tender had a very tight criterion and somehow Girish fulfilled all of them. However, the issue came to the light when an RTI activist Jayesh Ghadigaokar enquired about the certificates that he had submitted to the department.
Mahabal Enviro Engineers Pvt. Ltd has decided to file a criminal case against Girish Khandagale for making fake documents in their name and also the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for not verifying the authenticity of submitted documents. There is a network of about 500 km of canals and main sewers in the suburban areas of Mumbai. The sludge extracted from these ducts is taken to Dadar Silt Yard and processed there. Treating untreated silt is a task, it not only pollutes the land, but also air, puts a steady decline in people’s health, most affected by bacteria, germs, and other pathogens are the children and the elders of the family. Untreated silt can even destroy the crops and infect the waters running around them. If Girish Khandagale’s plant heating the waste then negative electricity bills is another scam to be verified as this treatment consumes heavy electricity.
After getting the contract Girish Khandagale manipulated electricity bills that he was getting for the plant. Girish Khandagade submitted his expenses of running the treatment facility to BMC and got the approval of the initial running cost. The month began with a running cost which included an electricity bill worth approximately Rupees 1.7 Lakhs, BMC approved the claim and agreed for a lump sum over the period of time. Gradually, the bill was reduced by almost half, and then lesser than that, and then lesser, until the readings went lesser than the initial, and he started getting negative bills; while BMC had already approved to pay a lump sum towards his expenditure. When it comes to taking care of the city, BMC has been the front runner, from their Clean-up drive to active participation during the COVID times, from pre-planned unclogging of drainage to prevent trains from stopping during the rains to working on silt treatment, they have been doing a good job. However, the lack of vigilance on their part is the result of people like Girish gaming the system.
Several attempts by us to connect with Girish Khandagale to take his view on this issue were unsuccessful.