Penny Wise, Pound Foolish - this idiom aptly defines the working style of the BJP-led standing committee in the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) as when it comes to renting vehicles, the ruling party members do not drive a hard bargain.
This became evident after the standing committee rejected a proposal mooted by the civic administration to purchase two water tankers worth around Rs. 44.62 lakh through the Government e-Marketplace (GeM).
Instead the BJP members on the virtue of their majority in the 16- member house extended their support to the cartel of contractors by opting to continue hiring private tankers to water gardens, playgrounds, traffic islands, medians and other open spaces in the twin-city. Shockingly, the civic administration spends a whooping Rs. 8 to Rs. 10 lakh every month to pay bills generated by the contractor at the rate of Rs. 599 per tanker.
Moreover the contractor sources water free of cost from treatment plants and public lakes in the twin-city. As per rough estimates, the civic administration spends around Rs. 1 crore towards the watering project. “The civic administration had mooted the proposal as one of its cost cutting measures by one time investment aimed at saving recurring expenses, however the BJP wants to splurge money on contractors for obvious reasons. I will seek government intervention to ensure that such absurd resolutions are scrapped." Shiv Sena legislator- Geeta Jain.
BJP members maintained that buying just two tankers will not solve the purpose as the area is vast. As per rough estimates, the civic administration spends around Rs. 1 crore annually towards the watering project.
“A single time investment of Rs. 50 lakh for two tankers (having capacity of 9,000 liters each) supported by a team of contractual drivers would have easily saved Rs. 5 lakh per month and the vehicles would have remained as a MBMC property.” said, deputy municipal commissioner- Dr. Sambhaji Panpatte. The GeM is a government run e-commerce portal to facilitate online procurement of goods and services required by various departments.