Already under the scanner for massive corruption in the purchase and hiring process of equipment and essentials amid the deadly Covid-19 pandemic, one more suspicious transaction smacking of alleged profligacy has come to the fore in the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC).
As per information sourced out by prominent social worker Krishna Gupta under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the civic administration has spent Rs 47,86,430 to spread awareness about the deadly Covid-19 pandemic in the current fiscal from March-2020 to April-2021.
A cursory look at the documents provided reveal that small amounts have been spent to hire auto-rickshaws fitted with public announcement system (PAS) and self-adhesive posters, while a whopping Rs 38,89,430 has been spent to fund more than 21,000 flex banners to be installed outside buildings and slum clusters which were tagged as containment zones across the twin-city, raising a serious question mark on the actual number of containment zones tagged by MBMC's health department. This apart from advertising material which were mounted on outdoor hoarding sites (OOH) and framed boards at strategic locations.
“Rs. 48 lakh is a huge amount, the administration should conduct a proper audit to check the authenticity of the quality, quantity and rates quoted by the concerned contractors. After all it's the tax-payers' hard-earned money and every single penny has to be accounted for," said Gupta.
The health department and stores department spent Rs 45,11,920 and Rs 1,74,420 from their kitties respectively.