For the second time in two weeks, the standing committee members of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) led by chairman and Shiv Sena corporator Rahul Shewale approved 30 crucial proposals amounting to around Rs600 crore without even a token discussion, in about three minutes.
Hindustan Times had last week reported how the standing committee had cleared 87 proposals worth Rs600 crore in nine minutes without any discussion.
In a tearing hurry before the election code sets in, the committee cleared controversial proposals like the Rs362 crore minor road works to contractors, including the proposal to acquire Carboncor, a modern technology, worth Rs18 crore, without debate.
Another crucial project approved was one to appoint SGS consultants, an international firm, to monitor the making of these minor roads as a third-party auditor. The committee also passed a project worth Rs72 crore to improve the sewerage system in the city, along with Rs44 crore for works to be carried out on the city's stormwater drains.
The only sign of dissent was seen from the Nationalist congress party (NCP), which decided to walk out to protest approval of proposals without discussion.
Accusing Shewale of not allowing any discussion, NCP group leader Niyaz Vanu said, "What is the point of this meeting if you are going to pass all these proposals without us even being able say anything? This is a very bad practice that you have started."
Congress corporator Rajendraprasad Chaube agreed, and said, "The ruling party has initiated a pitiable practice of approving proposals without debate. They seem to be in a hurry to increase the expenditure in view of the coming elections."
Shewale defended his decision by saying, "Most of these proposals were held back since the last meeting, and hence every member had known about them in depth. Besides, no other member wanted a discussion."