Bhayandar: Staring at a financial mess, the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) has drawn flak for the manner in which it plans to conduct the Mayor Marathon event. After wiping out a major portion of its cash reserves on the Mayor’s Trophy, the BJP-led governance has now chalked out an extravagant Rs. 65 lakh spending plan for the inaugural edition of its marathon by holding out the begging bowl in front of private establishments, seeking sponsorships for the event on August 18. After the civic chief turned down the proposal of shouldering the financial burden citing lack of funds, the adamant BJP rulers, rolled up their sleeves and decided to take the private route to conduct the event.

The BJP has teamed up with the administration to raise funds from private entities, raising a serious question mark on the accountability of financial transactions.

“I fail to understand the need of holding the event at this point of time when the MBMC is struggling for funds to enhance much needed civic utilities. It’s nothing but a pre-election stunt and a ploy to mint money by corrupt ways,” alleged social activist Pradeep Jangam. “The entire collection and spending process is transparent. With the mayor and senior civic officials on-board, a dedicated bank account has been opened to deposit cheques and conduct other financial transactions,” said a senior MBMC officer.

While 90 computer operators working on a contractual basis are still waiting for wages for the past 6 months, financial liabilities in the form of huge loans occupy a lion’s share in MBMC’s budget. The marathon offers race in categories including half marathon, 10-km challenge run and 5 km fun run for which participants will be charged Rs 472, Rs 472 and Rs 177 respectively. The event is aimed to spread awareness about water conservation, promote greenery and instilling habit of a healthy lifestyle among youth, officials said.

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