Rs 5.5 lakh. That’s the amount the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) spent last August on an animated power point presentation (PPT), an amount that opposition corporators alleged was enough to make an animation film! The BMC reportedly spent Rs 11.5 lakh on a water pump last July. Interestingly, all these amounts were approved by Municipal Commissioner, Sitaram Kunte who has the authority to sanction any BMC work that costs less than R75 lakh.
Corporators of the standing committee claim that the BMC rule, which states that the standing committee should be informed about every proposal that is passed, was flouted. Apparently the PPT was made to show the work done in the Damanganga-Pinjal River Link Project to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh when he visited Mumbai on August 18, 2012. Likewise Kunte sanctioned Rs 11.5 lakh to buy a pump to water plants at Bhandup.
The ruling and opposition corporators questioned, whether there was a necessity to splurge so much and alleged that since there was no mention of tenders in the copy that they had received, they were skeptical whether the tenders were even floated.
Sandeep Deshpande, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS)Corporator, said, “There was no need to spend so much money. No details of these expenses have been furnished. So how do we know whether the tenders were even floated?” Manoj Kotak of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), said, “I wonder which is
this place in Bhandup where there are so many plants that Rs 11.5 lakh has to be spent to water them. According to my knowledge there is no such place where there is so much greenery.”
However, justifying the expenses, Rajiv Jalota, Additional Municipal Commissioner, said, “Since an animated movie-kind of presentation was made, we had to spend so much money. We floated tenders and followed all rules and regulations in the process. Next time, a detailed report will be sent to corporators.”