Mumbai: Kalina Residents Allege Corruption In BMC's Security Guard Appointments For Public Gardens

Mumbai: Kalina Residents Allege Corruption In BMC's Security Guard Appointments For Public Gardens

The residents have alleged that the BMC has not appointed enough guards, and those appointed are overaged and less educated while also being underpaid.

Dhairya GajaraUpdated: Wednesday, March 13, 2024, 08:24 PM IST
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The residents of Kalina smell corruption in the appointment of security guards at the public gardens by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. The residents have alleged that the BMC has not appointed enough guards, and those appointed are overaged and less educated while also being underpaid.

The allegations raised by citizens

Voice of Kalina, an Advance Locality Management (ALM) has raised concerns over the appointment of security guards in the public gardens of Kalina. The residents alleged that none of the guidelines have been followed in the appointment of guards at the Kaka Joseph Baptista garden, Savitri garden as well as the Pascal Square garden. The residents have written to the BMC earlier in December and again in March regarding the issue.

In a letter to the assistant municipal commissioner of H-East ward by Voice of Kalina, the residents have raised concerns over the increase in work order for the big five-acre Kaka Joseph Baptista garden situated near the Kalina church. The work order for the maintenance of this garden has increased from Rs. 34.11 lakh in 2022 to Rs. 61.90 lakh in 2023.

“Provision has been made for appointment of three guards per 8-hour shift with three shifts per day, whereas only two guards are deployed working on a 12-hour shift. The appointment of security guards valued Rs. 13,96,293 is hugely suspected,” stated the letter.

Loy Dias, Vice Chairman, Voice of Kalina, said that even after appointing only four guards instead of nine guards as displayed on the papers, none of the guards actually match the qualifications. “The BMC manual prescribes that the security guards appointed must be robust, physically fit and must age between 18 and 40, whereas all the four guards are overage, weak for tough security duties. Their work order also prescribes that the guards are paid around Rs. 13,000 per month but the guards have told us that they are paid only Rs. 8,000,” Dias said.

In a letter written to the joint municipal commissioner (vigilance) in December, the residents had raised concerns regarding the municipal garden on the CST Road. The letter stated that the contractor has engaged only one security guard for 24-hour duty, whereas the contractor is bound to engage 3 security guards in 8-hour shifts.

Clarence Pinto, a member of Voice of Kalina, said, “Every year, the BMC is spending crores of rupees on the appointment of security guards and still there is no security to the gardens of Mumbai. If these guards are underpaid, where is the rest of the money going? There is a serious lack of supervision which is amounting to corruption.”

The Free Press Journal contacted Swapnaja Kshirsagar, assistant municipal commissioner, H-east ward, who was unaware about such complaints from the citizens. “We had received a similar complaint earlier and we changed the security agency. I will talk to my staff about any new complaint and will take necessary actions.”

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