The maintenance charges of super-sucker machines have drawn the ire of opposition Congress in the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC). The machine, costing crores of rupees, is meant to clean silt from drains.
On Wednesday, the municipal corporation's house passed a proposal to procure two super-sucker machines to clean its drains. While the machines cost Rs. 9.02 crore in total, the maintenance charges have been kept at nearly double their price at Rs. 16.08 crore for six years.
The house passed the proposal despite objections from the Congress, saying that the need is urgent. According to the opposition, the maintenance fee is 'ridiculously' high and the corporation must order a probe into the matter.
"How can the maintenance cost be nearly twice the machine's price? It proves that some financial bungling is going on. There is also discrepancy in the tendering process, which has to be cleared," alleged leader of the opposition Farhad Suri.
"I have registered my dissent and asked the corporation to look into the matter," added Suri.
The procurement of the two super-sucker machines was initiated in 2010.
The unified MCD had two super sucker machines, which were given to the North Delhi Municipal Corporation and the East Delhi Municipal Corporation after the trifurcation. The South Delhi Municipal Corporation did not get any.
Due to lack of adequate machines, many areas of the city witnessed heavy waterlogging during the monsoon this year, leading to massive traffic jams.
Talking about the maintenance cost, the corporation officials, however, said payment to the contractor would be paid on a quarterly basis after the completion of the work.