As Maharashtra continues to grab national headlines with sensational new twists and turns in the infamous Rs.100 crore collection target case, former BJP legislator Narendra Mehta dropped a bombshell on Thursday alleging massive corruption amounting to around Rs. 100 crore by the civic administration of Mira Bhayandar in the purchase and hiring process of equipment and essentials amid the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.
Interestingly, it’s the BJP that single-handedly rules the civic body on the virtue of its majority in the 94-member house. Addressing media persons, Mehta alleged that the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) chief misused his powers bestowed with accordance to the Maharashtra Municipal Corporations Act, to hire equipments including hospital beds, chairs, ambulances and even tube-lights at prices for a lot more, what it would have actually cost to purchase and make the material MBMC’s own property.
Armed with documentary evidence and comparative charts, Mehta said, “The MBMC has paid 12,000 rent for chairs which they could have owned by paying Rs. 2,400. Similarly, ceiling and pedestal fans costing Rs. 1000 and Rs. 2,000 were rented for Rs. 3,500 and Rs.5,500 for a period ranging 75 to 90 days respectively.
Moreover a whopping Rs. 72 lakh was paid to hire 12 ambulances. This is only a small fraction that we have unearthed and the amount siphoned off by the administration with the help of contractors could run into Rs. 100 crores. If the government fails to take action, I will move the judiciary and bring the corrupt officials to book.” said Mehta.
Civic officials refused to comment on the issue and said that the administration will reply after verifying the facts. This is not the first time when the MBMC is the news for corruption, last year a BJP corporator had alleged massive irregularities in the purchase of consumables for various healthcare facilities including institutional quarantine units and covid care centres which were set up for isolation and treatment amid the deadly pandemic.