In keeping with the practice of clearing big-ticket proposals without wasting too much time, the BMC's standing committee cleared over 18 proposals, collectively worth Rs574 crore, on Thursday. The proposals include ones concerning storm-water drains and sewage disposal.
With only a few days left for the election code of conduct to come into effect, the Sena-BJP combine is in a hurry to clear proposals. The committee has cleared worth projects worth Rs1,200 crore in its last two meetings. "All proposals were important for city's development and needed to be cleared before the code of conduct came into force," said Rahul Shewale, chairman of the civic standing committee. Helping their cause is the fact that neither the Congress nor the NCP seems to be too keen on participating in these discussions. Sameer Desai from Congress said that they had discussed all proposals earlier and there was no need to discuss again.
Meanwhile, decision on the proposal to supply flavoured milk to students at civic schools has been postponed till next week. The Rs121-crore project was one of the highlights of the Sena-BJP's election manifesto. The scheme has been mired in controversy since its launch following several cases of indigestion among students who consumed the milk. It was finally discontinued after seven students suffered food poisoning last year.
Meanwhile, the committee is yet to take a decision on adopting the new property tax structure. It is learnt that political parties don't want to upset island city voters whose tax will rise at least 100%, while their suburban counterparts could get a 20% relief in property tax payments.