Taxpayers' money is not for personal favours

While there are so many pressing problems with reference to basic infrastructure in the city, like roads and water shortages, the BMC has been busy buying its Standing Committee chairman six new cars, on an average of one car a year.

According to the front page report in this paper yesterday, the cars have been changed very quickly since 2008, and most of them were bought during the tenure of Standing Committee Chairman Rahul Shewale, who took over in 2010 and gave up the post after being elected a Member of Parliament this year.

A number of rules are being flouted because of this and it is also a huge waste of public money. The taxpayer pays for improved facilities and infrastructure and not to fund cars or gifts for people in power. The city needs so much better pavements, which regularly seem to be broken or have tiles missing or are uneven to the bogey of potholes. These need urgent and immediate attention. There is also a paucity of toilet facilities in so many wards. Funds could be used for that. More dustbins in public places are also needed.

Earlier too, this paper had written about persons in power, using their position for unnecessary personal gain. Once, it was reported that Madhukar Deorao Chavan, then cabinet Minister for Animal Husbandry, Dairy Development and Fisheries, and Gulabrao Deokar, the the Minister of State for Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Dairy Development, Fisheries, received a consignment each containing five litres of milk, 15 bottles of lassi and 15 bottles of Energee. The two batches were delivered to their doorstep from the Aarey dairy in Worli, free of cost.

There are numerous instances like this where leaders, instead of setting an example, take advantage of the clout they wield. It is time to take stringent action and nip this in the bud. Strict rules in black and white must be made and importantly, adhered to. It is not just the recipient that needs to be accountable, but the giver too. Money needs to be used wisely for what it is meant and not for personal gifts and favours.

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