Bhayandar: Despite getting a green signal from the Election Commission of India (ECI), the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) has mysteriously put on hold the process to appoint a private contractual agency for the pre-monsoon de-silting operations in the twin-city. On the virtue of their majority in the standing committee, the BJP members (excluding one who staged a walk-out in protest) on Saturday refused to give a nod to the highly crucial de-silting operations which are undertaken by the civic administration to avoid flooding during monsoon.

“The proposal has not been rejected. But since the price quoted by the lowest bidder was on the higher side, we recommended rate negotiations. After all, it’s the tax payers money. Hopeful the contract will be awarded by Tuesday after downward rate revision, failing which the commissioner will be bestowed with discretionary powers to do the needful,” said committee chairman Adv Ravi Vyas. The finalisation of the tender contractor had been put on hold due to the imposition of the model code of conduct in view of the ongoing Lok Sabha polls.

However taking into consideration the impending woes, the civic administration had sought an exemption as otherwise it would be too late to complete the works before monsoon. In response, the ECI gave its nod to civic bodies including Mira Bhayandar, Navi Mumbai and Kalyan-Dombivali for relaxed provisions pertaining to desilting work. There are around 155 major and minor nullahs in the twin-city which measure up to more than 240 kms for which the MBMC awards de-silting contracts for manual and mechanical excavation. However, instead of setting up accountability compulsions, the MBMC opts for clock-based pricing structure, giving ample scope for contractors to nibble up funds by generating inflated receipts and showing a higher head-count.

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