Corporators slam Mumbai civic body for non-transparent covid vaccine drive

Mumbai : Several municipal corporators have alleged the civic administration of not maintaining transparency about its procedure of vaccine distribution among the public representatives. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has started clinical trials of the Covaxin designed by Bharat Biotech.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) at least 2,000 volunteers (aged between 18-65 years) are required for conducting phase wise trials of the vaccine. However, BMC has been able to rope in only 140 volunteers.

Speaking on the low turnout of volunteers, senior BJP corporator Vinod Mishra and group leader of the party in the civic body said that they were not being kept in the loop regarding the vaccine drive. “The administration should have consulted us, while they were preparing for the vaccine distribution drive. Municipal corporators are public representatives. They are the ones who have ground level knowledge about each ward,” Mishra said.

Jagdish Oza, member of BMC improvements committee and corporator from Dahisar stated the administration has not even informed the public representatives what role they will have during the vaccination programme.

“The civic body should have held a discussion with us. We would have also participated in the process, had they informed us,” Oza said. Senior Congress corporator, Asif Zakaria stated, the corporators would definitely cooperate in the process if the civic body would have reached out to them.

A senior official of the BMC public health department informed, at present the BMC has only started training programmes and distribution drives would start only after the trials are completed successfully.

The corporators have also accused the civic body for mismanagement of funds. The BMC administration has written to the standing committee, seeking an additional fund of Rs 400 crores for COVID management till March 31, 2021.

"The BMC has not been able to clearly show its expenditures and now they are seeking an additional amount of funds. This is public money and the body needs to maintain transparency about where public money is being spent," Mishra stated.

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