Cost of Mumbai civic body’s dewatering pumps project increases by 103% this year
In yet another instance of significant cost escalation of a BMC project, the cost of a proposal to set up around 279 dewatering pumps during monsoon has increased by 103 percent compared to last year.
The proposal, which was tabled at the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) standing committee meeting on Saturday, received criticism from the councillors.
The BMC has planned to set up around 279 dewatering pumps during monsoon to flush out excess water, which is less than the 295 pumps installed for last year. Despite cutting down on the number of pumps this year, the cost of tender increased by nearly 103 percent. Last year, the BMC spent Rs27 crore for 295 pumps but this year it will spend Rs55 crore for 279 pumps. The administration has cited that the increase in the cost was owing to the hike in labour charges.
The committee has sent back the proposal to the administration, and asked it to return with a fresh one along with a detailed report of last year’s progress on dewatering pumps, including details about cost. A senior official from the solid waste management department said, “There has been an increase in the labour charges compared to last year. The labour commission has directed us to pay minimum wages or else we will be penalised.” He added that the cost of these pumps have also been increased.