Former corporators cry lack of transparency by Chahal
Mumbai One of the major concerns that was voiced before chief minister Eknath Shinde by 94 former corporators on Tuesday was the lack of transparency in non-budget expenditure by municipal commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal who is currently functioning as an administrator and whose writ currently runs unchallenged
Mumbai One of the major concerns that was voiced before chief minister Eknath Shinde by 94 former corporators on Tuesday was the lack of transparency in non-budget expenditure by municipal commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal who is currently functioning as an administrator and whose writ currently runs unchallenged.
On Tuesday, Hindustan Times had reported about how 94 former civic corporators, including former mayor Kishori Pednekar, had written to CM Shinde about fiscal mismanagement, lack of accountability and transparency in the BMC ever since the term of the city’s 227 corporators ended in March.
One of the crucial points in the letter was that the civic budget had been disregarded and was now a mere exercise on paper.
“Subjects that weren’t even part of the budget speech are now getting over ₹6000 crore in allocation like the new tenders for constructing concrete roads,” the letter had stated.
It is pertinent to note that the BMC had made a budgetary provision of ₹2869 crore for roads for FY 2022-23. But ₹6000 crore tender was recently reinvited for road concretisation.
MLA Rais Shaikh, former corporator and Samajwadi party leader in the BMC, elaborated on various such works which were carried out but not accounted for in the budget this year.
“There was no provision in the budget for ₹6000 crore tender on road concretisation which was reinvited recently. Likewise, ₹1700 crore on beautification and certain works on beautification were done without budgetary allocation, where small tenders were invited,” he said.
Shaikh’s other concern was of a ₹385 crore of fund transfer to Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) without giving an estimate on JVLR bridge.
“Also, there is health budget where they are expected to spend on CT scan, MRI and it isn’t being done, “said Shaikh.
Former corporators had opined that since March 2022, when the term of the BMC corporator ended, Iqbal Singh Chahal, municipal commissioner cum administrator is in-charge and contracts and proposals worth thousands of crores have been awarded but not a single Draft Letter (DL) has been put up in public domain.
When Chahal was queried about it he had clarified to HT in a message that 100 per cent resolutions pertaining to decisions taken by BMC were transparently made available on BMC website for anybody’s scrutiny without exception.
Ravi Raja, former corporator and leader of opposition said, “We didn’t find anything on the website on the tenders or the money spent so far. Unless, Chahal has his own personal website,” he added.