APPARENTLY STEERING clear of decision on a proposal for water tax hike, the Mayor-in-Council members on Wednesday lobbed the issue in the court of the BJP-dominated BMC council saying that the council should take the final decision. The MiC meeting with Mayor Sunil Sood in the chair was held to take the decision on a seemingly prickly issue to hike water tax to Rs 160 per month from the present Rs 60 per month.
Like in the past, MiC members this time too said the proposal should be forwarded to the BMC council for the final decision.
The Mayor was of the view that the hike became necessary to arrange funds for carrying out proper water supply in the City. But, other members said the MiC should approve the proposal only after BJP corporators’ assurance to approve hike proposal during the BMC council meeting. Some four months back, the BMC council had returned the water tax hike proposal without any discussion pleading that time was not opportune for effecting the hike.
The conditions laid down for loans and grant under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) and Asian Development Bank-funded schemes make it necessary for the BMC administration to hike the water tax. The BMC officials also pointed out this during the meeting, but to no avail.
The MiC approved the proposal for inviting tenders for Kabadkhana development scheme. This development scheme will cost Rs 8.45 crore. Initially, the tenders of developmental works worth Rs 6 crore are invited. A Delhi-based construction company has secured the work by offering lowest bid.
The work includes construction of roads, sewer lines, parking lots, Rain Basera, Sulabh Complex etc. The Union Government already approved the proposal under the JNNURM on June 14.
MiC member Mohammed Sarwar raised the issue of vehicle allotment to MiC members. After the State Government order, the BMC had withdrawn vehicles from the MiC members. Sarwar alleged that several officials who were not eligible for the vehicles were enjoying the facility.