MBMC appears to have two completely different yardsticks when it comes to recovering dues from the Aam-Aadmi and contractors

Bhayandar : It emerges that the Mira-Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) has two completely different yardsticks when it comes to recovering dues from the Aam-Aadmi as compared to defaulting contractors who saddle the civic body with multi-crore arrears.

Aimed at generating a revenue of around Rs.1.8 lakh per day, the MBMC had awarded annual contracts worth Rs.7 crore last year to four private contractors for collecting daily fees from hawkers operating in the region. To procure official collection payment receipts, the contractors were supposed to pre-deposit slab-wise payments in the municipal exchequer.

However the tax department which also handles responsibility of fee collection, mysteriously allowed three contractors-Simran Enterprise, Ekvira Co. and Abdul Khan, to saddle the MBMC with a collective arrear of more than Rs.2 crore even after the annual works contract came to an end in March, 2015.

Moreover, the cheques furnished by the contractors towards pending dues were dishonoured by the banks last month, due to insufficient funds. And in a classic case of first commiting error and then adopting a loud strategy to come out blameless, the tax department now claims of initiating a judicial recovery process against the defaulting contractors.

When contacted, MBMC, Law Officer-Sai Vadke said, “ After an official intimation from the concerned wing we have initiated legal proceedings for action under the relevant sections of the Negotiable Instruments Act against the contractors whose cheques have bounced.” However, tax officials could not explain as to why the mounting arrears were not noticed  when the contract was in-force and the reason behind refraining from blacklisting them.

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Hawker Fee’s: MBMC stares at daily loss of 80k

The MBMC is staring at a daily loss of Rs.80,000 in the market fee contract. After the collection contract awarded to private companies ended in March this year, the MBMC waked up from it’s slumber and invited fresh tenders ( which were recalled thrice), however as a stop gap arrangement a force of more than 32 civic personnel have been deployed on daily collection duty. This has resulted in a huge drop in revenue generation limiting the daily collection below Rs.1 lakh for the past three months. “We had no other option as some of the existing contractors had defaulted in payments. While bids for two zones have been successful, contractors will shortly be appointed for other two zones.”an official said.

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Suresh Golani

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