Following MiD DAY’s August 10 report (‘Dear BMC, where have Rs 192 cr for school kids gone?’) revealing that not one municipal school has received kits of all the 27 accessories -- including uniforms -- meant to be provided to students, despite the civic body spending crores of rupees on the scheme, the contractor blamed by corporators for the situation can expect more than a mere dressing down. Plans are afoot to penalise the guilty party half a per cent of his pay for every week’s delay. The deal was worth Rs 192 crore for two years, which means a yearly allocation of Rs 96 crore has been made for these kits.
The civic body had last year fined the contractor Rs 2 crore for the hold-up. This time provisions of almost 40 per cent of the items are yet to arrive. The supplier is granted a grace period of 45 days, and the civic body has decided that there would be no further extensions beyond this. With many complaints coming from corporators of various wards, BMC is gearing up to get severe with the contractor.
As far as hold-up in delivery of school uniforms -- for 4.3 lakh students costing Rs 20 crore -- the fine on every week’s delay is about Rs 10 lakh a week.
This year, many students have not got uniforms, schoolbags, and notebooks, which are amongst the essential items to be provided by the administration. It’s been status quo for several years, as the whopping amounts splurged by the BMC go in vain since the students don’t receive the things they need on time.
Speaking to MiD DAY, Mohan Adtani, additional municipal commissioner, said, “We will definitely be penalising the contractor and will deduct the sum from his final payment. We cannot put students’ education in peril, and so he needs to deliver soon.”
When asked why the particular agreement wasn’t being annulled and a pact made with another contractor, he said, “We cannot do that as none of the other contractors will have the uniforms and other items readily available, resulting in more logjams. We would think twice before giving him (the present supplier) the contracts next time if he doesn’t speed up the process.”
A BMC official, requesting anonymity, said, “Reports will be collected from all the schools by the education department, and then we will calculate the penalty at the end of the year while clearing his payments.”
Rs 192 crore
Value of the two-year deal between BMC and the contractor
Rs 2 crore
The penalty imposed on the contractor for delay in supplies last year