If you are wondering why the BMC is unable to maintain your playgrounds and gardens properly, here is a reason.
In a recent contract awarded for development and maintenance of 159 playgrounds across the city, contractors have agreed to undertake the maintenance work at a cost that is 50 to 75% below the estimated cost set by BMC.
This means the quality of the maintenance of gardens is likely to be poorer as the contractors have agreed to do the work at a lower amount just to bag the contracts.
Hindustan Times had first reported (January 20) that the BMC had appointed contractors for all the 24 wards to develop and maintain 159 plots for the next three and half years.
These plots will have facilities for sports such as Kabaddi, Kho-Kho, Volleyball and Basketball, apart from athletics. The civic body will spend nearly Rs96 crore on the project, which had been for the past two years. For example, contractors bagging contracts for up to 70% below the estimated cost (see box) means if the BMC has estimated garden maintenance work can be done with Rs100 for the next three and half years, the contractors have offered to it in Rs30. Activists and opposition parties have slammed the civic body for awarding contracts at such low rates.
Opposition leader in the BMC Devendra Amberkar has written a letter to municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta and demanded cancellation of contracts.
“It seems the BMC has not learnt any lessons from the past. This is not the first time that such low rates were quoted by the contractors. This is why the gardens and playgrounds maintained by the BMC are in poor condition,” said Amberkar.
He said, “I have asked the commissioner to cancel the contract immediately.”
Citizen activist Nikhil Desai said, “In past many contractors have agreed to maintain gardens and playgrounds at low rates but have fled before their contract ended. Repeating the mistake is a waste of public money.”
However a senior official from garden department said, “There are only 2-3 cases where contractors have quoted below 50%, so it will not affect the quality of maintenance and development work.”