The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) is faced with a six-year-old travel bill for a Washington trip taken by a former municipal commissioner and mayor.
In 2005, when the present state election commissioner Rakesh Mehta was the municipal commissioner, he had gone on a visit to Washington DC alongside then mayor Satbir Singh, saying that the cost of the trip will be paid by the organisers. However, the MCD is currently dealing with a bill of Rs 2.97 lakh for the trip.
Before leaving, Mehta had sent a letter to lieutenant governor with reference number PSC/CO-395/2005 that the cost of the trip will be borne by the organisers of the ‘Glocalisation conference’, held there. He wrote that in view of the invite from the mayor of Washington, there are “no financial implications” and so he should be allowed to go. The permission was duly granted based on the letter.
Now six years later, the MCD has tabled a proposal before the standing committee, saying that the trip incurred a bill of Rs 2.97 lakh on behalf of Rakesh Mehta and Rs 2.89 lakh on behalf of the then mayor Satbir Singh. The proposal says that the travel agent that had arranged for the tour has been sending MCD the bills, asking them to pay up.
“It has been proposed that MCD should pay up the amounts or else the travel agency will sue the civic body in court, something that the civic body wants to avoid,” said a senior member of the corporation.
Commenting on the issue, Mehta said that he does not recall the trip. “That was six-seven years ago and I do not remember it.”