BMC sub-lets its Bandra welfare centre at Re 1

Mumbai :  What is the going rate for office space at a sea-facing plot at Band Stand and for another one near Rizvi College, off Carter Road?

Re 1 for eight months!

This is the unbelievable deal that the BMC has given to two consultancy firms it has hired.

The matter was raised in the standing committee meeting on Tuesday by Bandra corporator Asif Zakaria, who had documents to show for it.

According to him, Suez Environment India has been given 2,000 sq feet of office space at the community welfare centre at Sahil building at Band Stand near Shahrukh Khan’s bungalow. Incidentally, this centre is supposed to house a library and a dispensary. Similarly, LEA Associates has been given 3,100 sq ft of space in the civic community welfare centre at Harmony building, opposite Rizvi College.

However, the chairman of the standing committee, Yashodhar Phanse, as well as additional commissioner S V R Srinivas brushed it aside, saying that there was no illegality involved, as the BMC does not have a policy for sub-letting welfare centres.

“The transaction is legitimate since the BMC does not have a policy on to whom the welfare centres are to be sub-let or at what cost. This is in no way a violation of the accommodation reservation policy. We have given these consultancies office space since the welfare centres were lying unutilised.” He had no answer as to why the welfare centres were lying unoccupied.

Zakaria, a Congress corporator, said, “These are purely commercial enterprises. Although they have been awarded tenders to work as a consulting agency, nowhere in the agreement is office space promised to them at such dirt cheap prices. And why did the administration bypass the Improvement Committee while taking this decision.

LEA Associates is a consultant for Comprehensive Mobility Survey of Mumbai. Suez Environment India looks at the Water Distribution Improvement Programme.

Tanvi Deshpande

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