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INJUSTICE TO PAPs – NMMC’S HIGHEST BIDDER POLICY TO FAVOUR CASH RICH NATIVE BUSINESSMEN

nmmc-marketThe vegetable and fish market in Shirawane, which is amongst the first in the 29 markets that would come in the city’s villages, has been engulfed in controversy. The NMMC general body recently approved the allotment of 13 shops of the market to the highest bidder marring the image of the Municipal Corporation. NMMC has constructed a vegetable market at Shirawane village in Nerul. The market is part of NMMC’s project to provide infrastructure to native businessmen, especially the PAPs. This month’s general body meet approved a proposal to allot 13 shops in the ground floor of the market to the highest bidder on rent for 10 years lease. The proposal was vehemently opposed by Shiv Sena corporator Rohini Bhoir who said that it was wrong on part of NMMC to allot 5 shops to one bidder, Messrs. Shivneri Machimar Co-op Society. The bidding was for the security deposit as the rent is fixed. Most bidders just bid Rs 1000 to Rs 15000 above the reserved deposit of Rs 35000 and Rs 25000, except for one bidder Madan Namdev Thakur who bid Rs 1, 00, 000 against the reserve deposit of Rs 35000. Rohini Bhoir said that this was the major flaw in the policy. She warned that this would set a wrong precedent and all municipal facilities would be grabbed by cash-rich highest bidders. She said that it was unfortunate that NMMC’s priority seemed to be in its commercial benefits first and later of the local businesses. Corporator Namdeo Bhagat informed that the policy was made and approved by the general body despite disapprovals by the corporators. He reiterated that NMMC runs on public funds and that it should keep in mind the public for its projects and not for selfish gains. While Namdeo Bhagat was one of the few corporators who demanded cancellation of the proposal, he remained absent when the proposal was put to vote. Defending his absence, Namdeo Bhagat said that the proposal was approved immediately post lunch. This is not the first time that the NMMC administration presented a proposal as “Urgent Matter” on the agenda and got it approved and members understood the consequences of the policy only after its implementation. In fact several policies in the corporation are brought by the administration as urgent matters instead of bringing them as regular subjects in the agenda so as to give members atleast seven days for deliberation and study. Even the vegetable and fish market policy was brought as urgent issue on the meeting day and hastily approved without any thought. This exposes how the administration does as it wills and the corporators fail to do justice to public issues especially to the poor like in the case of the vegetable market at Shirawane. With cameraperson Abhay Prasad, Sana Warsia for NMTV News.

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