Mumbai: Rs 700 crore worth BMC projects get nod in 25 minutes

Mumbai: The standing committee of the BMC passed 65 proposals worth over Rs 700 crores in less than 25 minutes on Thursday, barely discussing them. The tearing hurry is to ostensibly push through last-minute projects before the model code of conduct comes into play, which, some lawmakers speculate, is likely to be announced in the first week of March.

Under the model code of conduct, elected Houses must cease administrative work before elections. The standing committee began work at 2.35 pm on Thursday and was done by 3.05 pm. The first four minutes were utilised in welcoming the incoming additional municipal commissioner, Praveen Darade.

Over 80 proposals, amounting to almost Rs 750 crore, were lined up before the committee. In a tearing hurry, the committee approved 65 of those proposals worth Rs 700 crore, while deferring the approval on 15 others to the next meeting, which is scheduled for March 6. Only six proposals were actually discussed at the meeting.

The proposals that got fleeting consideration ranged from bridge and road repair to hospital reconstruction. The Congress corporator and leader of the opposition, Ravi Raja, blamed Shiv Sena and BJP for this hurry. “The Shiv Sena and BJP kept many proposals hanging till the last minute.

Now they want to create a charade of work before voters, which is why the hurried House proceedings,” said Raja. Another corporator from the standing committee said she was not allowed to speak on important issues due to this rush. “I wanted to speak on several proposals concerning my constituency.

However, the standing committee chairman did not give me a chance to do so,” the corporator said. Milind Mhaske, director of Praja Foundation, said, “Certain proposals need intense discussion. The standing committee should have taken this into consideration. At least senior corporators should have presented a dissent note at the meeting.

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