What would you say if you knew that the civic body was losing Rs 42 lakh of your money every month? That’s exactly what has been happening for some time now after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation started providing its own labourers to a private garbage contractor though no such condition exists in the contract.
The contractor is supposed to lift waste and take it to the dumping ground using his own labourers, yet after complaining that it was difficult to do the job with two labourers, the BMC provided him with its own labourers and are even paying him for this.
In January 2008, the BMC signed a contract with Ramky Enviro Engineers, a private firm to lift garbage and transfer it to the dumping ground, in Andheri, Vile Parle and Jogeshwari. The contractor agreed to do the job with two workers per dumper. He was to use BMC’s workers who are paid Rs 600 a day by the BMC. The contractor, in turn, was to pay Rs 180 per labourer, a day to the BMC. But, within a month, he started complaining that the workers were inadequate.
Currently, BMC is getting just Rs 360 a day from the contractor, but has been providing four to six labourers a day, per vehicle. This means the BMC is paying the contractor the wages of these four extra labourers per vehicle, a day, but does not recover a single rupee from the contractor for these additional workers.
This adds up to a loss of around Rs 42 lakh per month. The contract period is five years.
Milind Ranade, general secretary of Kachara Vahtook Shramik Sangh, who has documents showing the losses, said, “It is not possible to lift garbage with just two labourers per vehicle, yet the contractor assured it was possible in order to win the contract. Now, the BMC is spending out of its own pocket. The BMC should inquire into the matter.”
Om Kishor, of Ramky, who supervises the work, said, “We have an understanding with the BMC about manpower. But there are other expenses, which we have to bear. In fact we are operating this project at a loss.”
Bhalchandra Patil, chief engineer, solid waste management department, said the labourers were given as per a decision taken by the BMC later. He denied the BMC was incurring losses.
Rahul Shewale, chairman of civic standing committee, said he would look into the matter.