The leaders of opposition parties in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) have raised questions on the civic body's decision of distributing masks for the students of municipal schools.
Last week, the civic body had floated a proposal of acquiring 80 lakh masks for the students of the municipal schools. There are nearly 3.5 lakh students studying in all the municipal schools in Mumbai and each student will be given 25 masks, each of which would be reusable till for 30 days. The project would cost approximately Rs 20 crores to the civic body and civic officials stated, the masks would be given to the students so they could use them for a minimum timeline of two years.
Ravi Raja, senior Congress corporator and Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the BMC questioned the timing of the project stating now that schools are suspended, why the civic body has become so keen on distributing the masks.
“The civic body is yet to announce the reopening of schools, then what's the urgency of acquiring so many masks in such a short time and what is the need to hand out so many masks to the students,” Raja told FPJ.
While the state government had announced the resumption of schools, however, the civic body stated that schools in Mumbai won't open before January 15.
In the proposed tender it has been mentioned that each mask should have at least three layers, an unbreakable nose piece, an adjustable headband and should be washable up to 30 times without wasting the integrity of the mask.
Vinod Mishra, senior BJP corporator and group leader of the party in BMC has alleged the civic administration of forging COVID expenses by bringing the issue of masks.
"The rate of mask published by Haffkin institute is Rs 4.50 then why the civic administration is procuring such expensive masks instead? BMC is facing sheer financial crunch and the administration is also not maintaining any transparency with us," Mishra told FPJ.