Mumbai: BJP corporators, smelling a rat in the House proceedings on Friday, vehemently opposed the Rs 1 crore expenditure which the administration said it had accrued in the killing of rats in the city. It has asked for details of the rodent killings in 2021 to be submitted at the next standing committee meeting.
Last year, the insecticide department had issued contracts to various firms to kill rats in the city. The BMC proposal stated that Rs 1 crore expenditure had been incurred in killing rats in five wards. The corporation pays Rs 20 per rat and Rs 22 for every rat killed above the prescribed limit. Accordingly, a post facto proposal was tabled in the standing committee.
Prabhakar Shinde, group leader of the BJP in the BMC said, “If Rs 1 crore was spent for the killing of rats, then the administration should have given details about how many rats were killed in the last one year. If there are 24 wards in the city, then why were rats killed in only five wards, i.e. A to T wards of the BMC? Rs 20 each was paid for how many rats and Rs 22 for how many more?” Shinde demanded to know.
Shinde recalled the incident at Rajawadi Hospital last year, where rats had bitten the eye of a patient in the ICU and the leg of a patient in Shatabdi Hospital, Kandivli. “If the BMC is spending Rs one crore for rat killing, then how did the Rajawadi and Shatabdi hospital incidents occur?” Shinde asked.
He alleged that the BMC commissioner and the mayor were misusing sections 69 (c) and 72 (3) of the BMC Act, 1888. Under this section, the mayor and commissioner can sanction money before the approval of the standing committee. “BMC administration is spending taxpayer money indiscriminately, under the provision of 69 (c) 72 (3).”
Standing Committee chairman Yashwant Jadhav directed Additional Commissioner P Velrasu to provide the details on the said proposal and kept it pending.
The BJP also opposed the proposal where the BMC had incurred Rs 1.40 crore in expenditure on security guards in Covid centres but the proposal was passed.