Maharashtra: Industries Minister Uday Samant Reverses BMC's ₹1,200 Crore Slum Cleaning Tender To Safeguard Jobs Of 75,000 Marathi Workers

Maharashtra: Industries Minister Uday Samant Reverses BMC's ₹1,200 Crore Slum Cleaning Tender To Safeguard Jobs Of 75,000 Marathi Workers

This decision comes after significant opposition, as the contract, worth ₹1,200 crore over four years, threatened the jobs of 75,000 Marathi workers currently employed by social organizations.

RUCHA KANOLKARUpdated: Tuesday, July 02, 2024, 12:53 AM IST
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Maharashtra Industries Minister Uday Samant | X

Mumbai: Industries Minister Uday Samant announced on Monday, in the Legislative Council that the Mumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will cancel its decision to award a new cleaning contract for slum areas to private companies. This decision comes after significant opposition, as the contract, worth ₹1,200 crore over four years, threatened the jobs of 75,000 Marathi workers currently employed by social organizations.

Pravin Darekar, the Group Leader of the ruling party, led the opposition against the contract. "If BMC has not received a single complaint, what is the need to replace the contract? Only One person and one company will benefit from ₹1,200 crores, but on the other hand 75,000 workers will lose their jobs and their lives depend on this work. Cancel the tender of BMC," he asserted.

Darekar emphasized that the existing cleaning operations, managed by local NGOs, disabled groups, and women's self-help groups, were functioning effectively. These organizations handle essential sanitation services, including waste collection, drainage, and toilet maintenance, within the slums.

Industries Minister Uday Samant reassured the Legislative Council that the livelihoods of the current workers would not be compromised. "Lakhs of people live in slums in the city, and those places should be clean. We started the Swachh Mumbai Prabodhan Abhiyan with this aim. The contractors included in this have not opened the tender yet," Samant explained.

He further promised that justice would be served transparently, ensuring that the 75,000 Marathi workers would not face any injustice.

Raj Hans Singh, BJP MLC highlighted the original purpose of the cleaning initiatives. "The adoption settlement was meant to clean up the slums. The tender is worth ₹1,200 crores. No matter which government is in power, everyone knows who the contractors are. There has been no complaint yet, but BMC is trying to change things," Singh remarked.

Shivsena UBT MLC Sachin Ahir urged for the immediate continuation of the halted work, emphasizing the importance of maintaining the current sanitation efforts.

Samant responded, "If it's injustice to 75,000 Marathi workers, we immediately give stay to this tender. The work will continue as it was, addressing the resident's needs. Swachh Mumbai Prabodhan Abhiyan has been implemented since April, 2013 to prevent ill effects on the health and environment of citizens and to increase public participation in public cleanliness in extended slums within the limits of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. We want this campaign to work smoothly, which is why the contract with the new company."

"Under this campaign a local NGO is formed by slum dwellers for cleaning and development of slums. A unit area of 150 houses / 750 persons has been created in the slum area. A local NGO is given responsibility for a minimum of 5 units to a maximum of 18 units. At present there are about 840 local NGOs and about 10400 units functioning. A monthly subsidy of Rs.5400/- for equipment and Rs.600/- for public awareness is given by the Municipal Corporation per unit. In order to receive financial contributions from citizens, Rs.20/- per month from residential complexes and Rs.50/- per month from commercial establishments are allowed to be collected as public subscription/donation", added Samant.

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