With municipal commissioner Subodh Kumar placing restrictions on the inauguration ceremonies of civic projects — being held hastily in the run-up to the 2012 civic polls — there seems to be trouble brewing between the civic chief and the ruling parties in the civic body, the Shiv Sena and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
In a circular issued on October 3, additional commissioner of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), Rajiv Jalota, said that parties would have to seek permission from Kumar at least 15 days prior to holding any inauguration ceremony or bhoomipujan.
The circular also said that the BMC would not bear any expenditure incurred for the functions.
On Friday, ruling party corporators criticised Kumar for issuing the circular. “The circular makes no sense at all. We want it to be withdrawn. The
commissioner has assured us that,” said standing committee chairman Rahul Shewale (from the Shiv Sena), after meeting Kumar on Friday afternoon.
“Kumar told us that the inauguration programmes for major projects can be funded by the BMC, but funds for smaller programmes will have to be arranged for at our level,” Shewale added.
Senior civic officials, however, said Kumar had given no such assurance. Kumar chose not to comment on the issue.
BJP corporator and chairman of civic improvements’ committee Bhalchandra Shirsat said, “There is a budget provision of Rs10 crore for such programmes. If we have to fund the inauguration programmes, we will not follow the protocol and will only invite people from our party to the function.”
The civic elections are to be held in February 2012. The ruling Sena-BJP alliance, which has been receiving flak over the city’s pothole-ridden roads and water shortage, has been trying to showcase projects executed by the civic body.
The parties have been on an inauguration spree since the past few days with Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray launching several civic projects. The alliance has already held ten functions so far and 15 more are in the pipeline.