The BMC spends more than Rs20 lakh every month to run 15 cars for its top functionaries. This sum often rises as spending on driver’s salary, fuel and maintenance bills for each vehicle ranges from Rs1.20 lakh to Rs1.90 lakh.
Mayor Snehal Ambekar has three cars on which the BMC together spends more than Rs 3 lakh every month. The sum touched Rs3.75 lakh in August and September 2015.
Twelve others — the deputy mayor and chairpersons of the BMC standing committee and other civic committees — get a car each. In fact, the BMC last year bought new SUVs for these people, which raises questions about the high maintenance costs so soon.
The second-highest expenditure is on the car of civic improvement committee chairman Prakash Gangadhare. The BMC spent about Rs1.90 lakh on the car in December 2015. In the last six months of 2015, the average monthly expenditure on Gangadhare’s car was Rs1.80 lakh.
Expenditure on the official vehicles of standing committee chairman Yashodhar Phanse and education committee chairperson Ritu Tawade was Rs1.64 lakh and Rs1.60 lakh respectively in December 2015.
Drivers’ salaries range between Rs 27,000 and Rs 29,000, but often they are paid up to Rs 1 lakh a month, including overtime.
The amount spent on fuel and maintenance comes to between Rs30,000 and Rs61,000.
Civic sources said the high expenditure meant the office bearers used their cars for much more than official purposes.
A senior officer from the civic body said, “The cost is equivalent to that on a Mercedes or a BMW if we are spending more than Rs1 lakh on fuel and maintenance of each vehicle.”
The expenditure on t he vehicles is published on the civic body’s website as directed by the Chief Information Commissioner in response to a right to information petition.
Citizen activists are irked with the expenditure. “All these facilities are being given at the cost of taxpayers’ money,” fumed Matunga-based activist Nikhil Desai.