Underground parking plan put on hold? | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Underground parking plan put on hold?

mumbai Updated: Dec 03, 2009 00:59 IST
Sujit Mahamulkar
Sujit Mahamulkar
Hindustan Times
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The economic slowdown, coupled with the increased salaries of 1.10 lakh civic employees in line with the Sixth Pay Commission, could hurt the city’s ambitious underground parking lots project.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) — one of the country’s biggest civic bodies with Rs 19,000 crore budget — is facing a revenue shortfall of an estimated Rs 2,000 crore this financial year.

To tide over this crisis, it has embarked upon a drive to cut expenditure — and the latest victim could be the underground parking lots project.

In August, the civic standing committee cleared the proposal to construct seven underground parking lots at a cost of Rs 440 crore and hand them over to a private firm, reportedly connected to the son-in-law of Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi, to maintain and operate them for 30 years.

The parking lots, with 1,400 vehicles parking capacity, were planned at seven places in south Mumbai between Crawford Market and Regal cinema.

Now the standing committee has proposed to hold the project.

Acting Municipal Commissioner RA Rajeev submitted a 76-page confidential report at the standing committee meeting on Wednesday.

The report — a copy of which is with Hindustan Times — shows the corporation’s sagging financial situation and suggests putting on hold projects like the construction of underground parking lots or implement them partially till the BMC is financially stable.

The standing committee has called for a special meeting on Friday to discuss this matter.

Shiv Sena corporator and chairman of the Standing Committee Ravindra Waikar said: “We will discuss about the financial status report in the special meeting and then decide further plan of action.”

The report said with ‘recession and increased salary hikes by executing the Sixth Pay Commission to all 1.10 lakh civic employees’, the corporation is now facing a financial crunch, which could affect drastically its revenue.

The report also pointed out that all departments should avoid proposing new projects and put on hold those which have been executed yet as many of them do not fit into the civic obligatory duty.

Providing basic amenities like water supply, health services, garbage collection, education are major obligatory duties of the BMC.

The civic administration has also proposed cutting down the corporator fund by 25 per cent to curtail expenditure.

This fund is not actually handed over to the corporator, but the municipal corporation sanctions works of Rs 35 lakh, such as laying tiles on pavements, building community halls, as recommended by the corporators in their respective wards.