Rs 27 crore for the painting, furniture and electric fitting work for 24 rooms measuring around 200 to 600 sq ft?
But that’s what the municipal corporation plans to spend on building and decorating the 24 disaster control rooms in each ward in the city.
These disaster control rooms are being set up for better communication and detailed data transfer between the civic headquarters and other ward offices during calamities, both natural and manmade.
However, they will start functioning only after three months — when monsoon is almost over.
On Monday, the standing committee approved a Rs 27-crore proposal to furnish and “decorate” disaster control rooms in the corporation’s 24 ward offices.
But the control rooms will not be of any use to the citizens at least this monsoon.
“These disaster control rooms are just an eyewash in the name of monsoon preparedness,” claimed Bharatiya Janata Party corporator Ashish Shelar.
For better disaster management, technical know-how and advanced technology are a must, agreed most corporators.
But Joint Municipal Commissioner (disaster management) S.S. Shinde contended that the disaster control rooms were being set up on a long-term basis and not just for monsoon.
“Earlier the BMC control room was set up to tackle flooding during monsoon,” he explained. “But these disaster control rooms for individual wards are being set up to answer calls 24 hours of the day, seven days a week and 365 days a year.”
The work on the 24 control rooms, Shinde added, was delayed because most civic officials were deputed on election duty. “Now that the elections are over, the work will begin on a war footing.”
However, there are some in the civic headquarters who think the corporation’s new plan is “an unnecessary waste of public money”.
“It would be better if these huge sums of money were spent on state-of-the-art equipment in the control rooms,” said a civic official, requesting anonymity for protocol reasons.