Mumbai: 900 Tenders Worth ₹150 Crore Rushed In 10 Days For Crucial Ward-Level Civic Amenities, Clarifies BMC Commissioner

Mumbai: 900 Tenders Worth ₹150 Crore Rushed In 10 Days For Crucial Ward-Level Civic Amenities, Clarifies BMC Commissioner

The urgency with which these tenders have been extended has raised eyebrows, particularly amidst the backdrop of looming election dates.

RUCHA KANOLKARUpdated: Monday, February 26, 2024, 10:19 PM IST
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Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation | File

Mumbai, February 27: As the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) gears up for impending civic polls, recent actions by the administrator-led body have sparked curiosity and speculation. With no elected representatives in sight, the BMC has been swiftly issuing contract papers, inviting over 900 tenders amounting to a staggering Rs 150 crore.

The urgency with which these tenders have been extended has raised eyebrows, particularly amidst the backdrop of looming election dates. Sources within the BMC reveal that within a mere ten days, 292 tenders valued at around Rs 150 crore were expedited, with a focus on projects in Malad and Kandivali.

These tenders primarily target essential tasks in slum areas, including constructing pathways, repairing toilet blocks, mending footpaths, renovating gardens, and installing gymnasium equipment. Such endeavors underscore the BMC's commitment to addressing critical civic needs, especially in marginalized communities.

Official Cites Urgency To Kickstart Projects:

An official shed light on the rationale behind the rapid issuance of tenders, emphasizing the need to kickstart projects within the current financial year's budgetary constraints. The urgency is palpable, with administrative approval sought before the fiscal year's end, even if the work commences thereafter.

The volume of tenders typically surges, signaling a rush to secure administrative approval. The impending elections further amplify this urgency, as public representatives advocate for the commencement of projects in their respective constituencies before the enforcement of the code of conduct.

BMC Commissioner's Clarification:

Responding to growing speculation regarding the recent surge in tender issuances, Municipal Commissioner of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), Iqbal Singh Chahal, provided a clarification. He began by emphasizing the localized nature of these tenders, stating, "It is humbly clarified that most of these tenders pertain to ward-level works of BMC." He broke down the expenditure, highlighting that with 25 wards in BMC, it equates to a modest ₹6 crores per ward, with an average of ₹16 lakh per tender. Each ward, accommodating a population of nearly 5 to 7 lakhs, sees approximately 36 tenders issued, addressing vital civic amenities crucial to the daily lives of Mumbai's residents.

These projects, Chahal explained, primarily focus on the maintenance of essential civic amenities such as stormwater drainage, sewerage networks, footpaths, and repairs of pedestrian lanes, particularly in slum areas. He underscored the significance of addressing these issues promptly, stating, "Unless these civic issues are addressed through this tendering process, it can have a direct adverse impact on the health and lives of our citizens living in high-density areas, including slums."

Furthermore, he contextualized the surge in tender issuances, noting that such expenditure is customary in the final stages of the financial year, especially during the month of March. He clarified that substantial budgetary expenditures occur not only within the BMC but also across all major departments under the Government of Maharashtra annually.

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