In the last three years, the BMC has spent close to R64 lakh on the repair and maintenance of vehicles provided to its employees. In some cases, the repair cost has exceeded the cost of the vehicle
This is a ‘car’nama that rings all the wrong bells in our mind. For quite some time now, the money spent on the maintenance and repair of the cars given by the BMC to some of its employees, has raised questions about the mismanagement of funds. In the last three years (July 1, 2012-June 30, 2014), the civic body has managed to spend close to R64 lakh on the maintenance of 27 cars. Surprisingly, in some cases, the cost of the repair and maintenance exceeds the cost of the vehicle.
The car provided to the Public Health Committee Chairperson, was bought at a cost of R4.59 lakh, but in the last three years, the administration has spent Rs 4.77 lakh on the maintenance and servicing of the car. Similarly, the car provided to the Child and Welfare Committee Chairperson was bought for Rs4.59 lakh but maintenance bills have come upto Rs 4.70 lakh.
The BMC has spent a similar amount for repairing the Law and Revenue Committee Chairman’s car. The Logan was purchased for R4.59 lakh but maintenance and service costs in the last three years have come upto R4.63 lakh. These revelations came to light when Additional Municipal Commissioner, BMC, Mohan Adtani demanded to know the amount which the civic body spent on these repairs. The transport department of the BMC submitted the maintenance and service data for the last three years to him.
Misuse of funds
Apparently, misuse of official vehicles provided to key people in the BMC has been reported several times. Overuse of the vehicles has led to frequent need for servicing. Substandard servicing has further led to the vehicle being taken to the garage more often, leading to an increase in the money spent on repairs.
Last month, Adtani suspended Assistant Engineer Sudhir Parkare of Solid Waste Management (Transport division), when his car broke down on the way to the office. An amount of R60,000 had been recently spent on its upkeep. Parkare was in charge of the municipal garage that takes care of the maintenance of these vehicles. He was suspended allegedly due to negligence found in the maintenance of the vehicles and increasing number of complaints against him, with regards to the same.
However, the civic body reinstated him and transferred him to A ward. Enquiry against him is pending. A few days ago, Adtani had also transferred executive engineer Sunil Godse from the transport department and initiated an enquiry against him, regarding mismanagement
As a rule, these cars should be phased out after every 10 years, but many of these vehicles are still in use. A senior officer from BMC, on condition of anonymity said, “The maintenance cost has gone really high. We get frequent breakdown complaints.” A few months ago, Leader of Opposition and Congress corporator, Devendra Amberkar had complained about regular breakdown of his car. As a mark of protest, Amberkar went home by taxi, after which, the administration replaced his car.
“I have ordered a departmental enquiry against engineers responsible for the maintenance. At present, the preliminary enquiry is on, which will be completed in the next two months. Then we will be able to find out who are responsible for such wastage of money,” said Adtani.