Following a rap by the Bombay high court (HC), members of the civic standing committee inspected the functioning of various octroi plazas in the city on Friday. However, with no discussion on tackling corruption, the visit proved to be futile.
On Wednesday, a division bench of justice PB Majmudar and RM Sawant had asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to file an affidavit explaining the steps it plans to take to curb corruption at octroi plazas.
Rahul Shewale, chairman of the standing committee, along with five other members visited the three major toll plazas at Vashi, Mulund and Dahisar. Mangesh Bansod, Nationalist Congress Party corporator and a member of the standing committee who accompanied Shewale, said: “In the five-hour long visit, there was no discussion on the ways in which corruption could be tackled. This goes on to indicate that the ruling party is not keen on weeding out corruption.”
Rubbishing the allegation, Shewale said, “The visit was to check the cleanliness and facilities before awarding the Rs12-crore contract for the maintenance of check posts. The civic body is taking steps towards tackling corruption in the octroi department. Provision of computerised receipts and e-payment facility would are the steps being taken in that direction.”
According to a civic officer, in most cases, the importers pay octroi duty through agents. The agents issue fake receipts, thus cheating the importer and the civic body. “Such incidents have been on the rise,” said the officer.
“Computerised receipts are being issued at 10-12 collection points. The receipts mention the date, time, secret code number and description of the goods. This will ensure that fake receipts can’t be issued. The e-payment facility too will start soon,” said SS Shinde, joint municipal commissioner.