Once bitten twice shy is a phrase that does not seem to exist in Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) lexicon, as it has decided to spend Rs 153 crore before March 31 through the controversial Civil Work Contract (CWC) system.
Municipal Commissioner Sitaram Kunte took the decision after corporators pressurised the civic body during yesterday’s Standing Committee meeting to reintroduce the system, which was scrapped last year over charges of corruption and misappropriation of public money for executing petty civic works. The BMC has agreed to do 50 per cent work via e-tenders and the remaining 50 per cent on CWC-basis.
In the last nine months, the civic body spent 30 per cent of corporators’ fund, which is Rs 60 lakh per corporator plus another Rs 40 lakh earmarked as development fund. This means Rs 79 crore belonging to 232 corporators has been spent by inviting e-tenders, and the remaining Rs 153 crore needs to be exhausted before the financial year ends in the next two months.
“The remaining funds will be used for work in wards by CWC contractors. And we have to exhaust the amount in this financial year (till March-end),” said Standing Committee Chairperson Rahul Shewale. Congress corporator Pravin Chheda said, “Though the e-tender system is good and transparent, it was not a practical solution because of low response from the contractors. This delays public works.”