Mumbai: #Pothole challenge to burn hole in BMC officials' pockets

Updated: Nov 02, 2019, 10:04 IST | A correspondent | Mumbai

The decision to give away prizes if pothole complaints are not addressed within 24 hours had started a controversy over where the funds will come from

This picture has been used for representational purposes only
This picture has been used for representational purposes only

A pothole drive, which was started by the BMC with a cash prize of Rs 500, has proved to be a challenge for civic officials, who will now have to shell out the reward money. The decision to give away prizes if pothole complaints are not addressed within 24 hours had started a controversy over where the funds will come from.

A civic official said on Friday that the BMC introduced the scheme to enhance productivity of its officers. However, the challenge, where people have been asked to either post a pothole photo or a selfie with the pothole on BMC's Fixit app, will last for a week only (last date is Nov 7).

The decision to give away cash prizes was challenged at the Standing Committee meeting on Friday. "How can BMC start giving away money without permission from the Standing Committee which is a statutory body to give permission for all money-related issues?" asked Ravi Raja, the Opposition leader.

BMC's additional metropolitan commissioner Pravin Darade said, "The reward will go out of the pockets of officers concerned and not from the BMC fund. So the civic body didn't need permission of the Standing Committee. The commissioner just wanted to ensure that the potholes should be filled in time".

Municipal Engineers' Union executive president Sainath Rajadhyaksha has said they will oppose the orders. "How can they put responsibility on engineers without adequate material and manpower? It is not easy to cut fine from engineer's pocket. We are definitely going to oppose it," Rajadhyaksha said.

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