HMIS: No work in two years despite Rs 100 crore expenditure

Mumbai: The Standing Committee of the BMC on Wednesday discussed its poster project, the Health Management Information System (HMIS), and the corruption associated with it. Questions were raised that two years have elapsed, but the project was yet to be implemented. The BMC corporators also demanded to know the details of utilisation of a fund of Rs 100 crore allocated to the project.

The BMC had allocated Rs68.42 crore in the fiscal 2018-19, while it has allocated Rs206.25 crore to HMIS in the finacial year 2019-20 budget. “Despite a huge budget, not even a single entry has been listed under the HMIS project in Mumbai’s civic hospitals,” said Rais Shaikh, the Samajwadi Party corporator.

The HMIS is being rolled out in Kasturbha Hospital, Chinchpokli, Nair Hospital, Mumbai Central, BR Ambedkar Hospital, Byculla, Cooper Hospital, Juhu and Rajawadi Hospital, Ghatkoper. Shaikh toured the abovementioned five civic hospitals last week to check the status of the project implementation.

“The BMC has purchased over 950 computers, but 800 are not even in a log in state. About 200 machines are still to be set up, kept packed in the mess,” said Shaikh. However, the HMIS has been implemented properly in the Jamshedjee Jeejeeboy (JJ), a state government hospital, Shaikh added.

“The BMC with its fancy budget provision is misutilising the funds allocated for the project,” Shaikh claimed. The BJP corporator, Manoj Kotak, questioned the cost of the hardwares. “The cost of each computer in the HMIS is Rs1,49,000 and laptops are bought at Rs83,000 each. However, the market cost for the personal computers and laptops are not more than Rs76,000 and Rs42, 000 respectively,” said Kotak.

The Congress corporator and the leader of the Opposition int eh House, Ravi Raja, accused the BMC administration of siphoning the money through newer ways. “The HMIS has 3,400 wifis, each costing Rs76,000. The total required funds for wifi connections is over Rs2.70 crore. This is a new form of corruption, which the BMC administration has started,” claimed Raja.

Responding to the allegations, the BMC additional municipal commissioner, Vijay Singhal cited technical reasons for the higher cost. “All the computers and laptops have a licenced copy of MS Office. This has spiked the cost,” said Singhal. Rubbishing the claim, Shaikh demanded reasons for lack of group negotiation for the software. “Why the software was negotiated on a single computer basis, when the Microsoft offers multi-users option,” questioned Shaikh.

The corporators also accused the Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler (KPMG) for wrong advice to the BMC. The KPMG is the official BMC adviser in the HMIS project. The corporators demanded to set up a panel to inquire into the utilisation of funds and non-implementation of the project.

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