With an eye on the upcoming civic elections slated for February 2012, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has gone into overdrive mode to complete the pending projects and start new ones, so that the ruling party can go for the polls with a cleaner progress card.

The BMC has prioritised renovation work of all the civic markets in the city. Citing regular complaints about security and hygiene issues from the citizens, the BMC has decided to float tenders to appoint private housekeeping staff and security personnel to maintain these markets. The BMC has allocated Rs 51 crore for carrying out renovation work of markets at various locations in the city.

"There have been regular complaints from the citizens about garbage being strewn within a market's premises. Earlier, the cleaning was carried out at the ward level, but it wasn't being maintained properly. We would be inviting tenders for hiring private staff to do the job," said BMC's Standing Committee Chairperson Rahul Shewale.

'Almost done'
Recently, the BMC officials along with the corporators visited three markets in the western suburbs to check on the progress of the renovation work.

According to Vishnu Korgaonkar, chairperson of Markets and Gardens Committee, "Two markets were falling short of funds due to which we had organised the visit to Malad's Marve Market and Khar Danda Market. We also visited the market in Borivli. Almost 80 per cent of the renovation work has been carried out. What is remaining is the electrical and gate work."

A BMC official said, "It was high time the markets needed repair work and it began last year. However, problems were faced due to shortage of sand after a ban was imposed. This had escalated the prices, bringing the work to a temporary halt. All the work will be completed in the next 15-20 days."

The budget
The estimated cost of civil and electrical work in the island city is approximately R31 crore. While R9 crore has been kept for markets in western suburbs and over Rs 6 crore for those in eastern suburbs.

The markets

At present, there are 29 markets in the city, and 11 each in the western and eastern suburbs. Post renovation, each market will have a separate fish and a vegetable market.