The BJP-led Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) is staring at near-empty coffers owing to the coronavirus lockdown. However, matters related to financial wrongdoings continue to tumble out of the MBMC closets.
This time it’s none other than the ruling party’s own member Ashok Tiwari who has dropped a bombshell by alleging massive irregularities in the Tree Authority by the private agency which shoulders responsibility of providing manpower in connivance with civic officials during the lockdown period.
In his complaint to the civic chief, Tiwari who also heads the standing committee stated that in a bid to gobble up funds, the private contractor had been manipulating the headcount of workers by taking advantage of the manual attendance register system.
“Unlike the daily routine, gardens are now being attended once in three to four days and not more than 50% labourers are turning up due to the lockdown. I have asked the civic chief to conduct a probe and take action against those found responsible," Tiwari said.
Denying the charges Tree Authority officer Nagesh Irkar said, “Lockdown or not, gardens have to be cleaned and trees need to be watered every day else they will die. Thanks to our bus services, we are operating with regular workforce which cannot be trimmed. Although biometric attendance had to be suspended, the entire process is still transparent.”
MBMC’s tree authority has hired an agency which outsources 325 labourers for Rs. 875 per day to maintain gardens, traffic islands and medians.
“In fact, our load has increased due to shoddy work of the public works department which has damaged trees at various ongoing sites.” charged garden superintendent Hansraj Meshram.
Notably, bills amounting Rs. 84 lakh for work done in April has been submitted for clearance.
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