Corporators conniving with NMMC officials and corporators to loot the NMMC treasury is nothing new. So it did not come as a surprise when an example of this surfaced in the NMMC General Body meeting held this month. The allegations were made by Senior Shiv Sena corporator Namdeo Bhagat against NMMC’s infamous contractor “M/s Ashwini Infrastructure Private Ltd.”
He was speaking on the NMMC administration proposal to give extension from January 1, 2020 to 31 December 2020 of the maintenance contract of Wonder Park at Nerul to M/s M/s Ashwini Infrastructure Pvt Ltd until the NMMC can call for a tender of “integrated” contract for daily maintenance of park. For the said extension of one year, the contractor would be paid Rs. 3, 60, 37, 989 (Rupees Three Crores Sixty Lacs Thirty Seven Thousand Nine Hundred and Eighty Nine).
“THE STANDING COMMITTEE HAD REJECTED GIVING ANY EXTENSION FOR MAINTENANCE TO M/s ASHWINI INFRASTRUCTURE PVT. LTD. IN FEBRUARY 2019”
Shiv Sena corporator Namdeo Bhagat made allegations that a lot of corruption has been happening in this same contract for a long time. Recalling the Standing Committee meeting of February 2019, he said that “This proposal had come to Standing Committee. It was then decided that contract of maintenance of Wonder Park in Nerul would not be given to M/s Ashwini Infrastructure Private Ltd. And the work would be tendered again. This was put on record in the minutes of the meeting. However, the same day, on the letter of an absent Standing Committee member, the NMMC Administration approved the same proposal. How was this done? When the Standing Committee had decided not to give the contract to the contractor M/s Ashwini Infrastructure Private Ltd., according to rules, the administration had to wait for 3 months before bringing it back for approval but this rule was completely violated. It’s a case of corruption.” This allegation has raised speculations that the corporator that Namdeo Bhagat was speaking about is Ravindra Ithape.
“CRORES OF PUBLIC TAXES IS BEING PAID IN WASTE TO CONTRACTOR ASHIWINI INFRASTRUCTURE”
Namdeo Bhagat continued to launch a scathing attack on the contractor M/s Ashwini Infrastructure Private Ltd. He said that, “When I visited, the gomasta license of the hotel at Wonder Park had expired, areas in the park were being used for indecent activities while the wood on the train was rotting. I urge the Mayor J D Sutar to visit Wonder Park with local corporator Ravindra Ithape. It’s a dangerous situation. Where is the maintenance money being paid to the contractor being used then? Everything from the water bodies to the cable is a complete mess. We are wasting Crores of public taxes in filling the pocket of the contractor for doing absolutely no maintenance.”
“IT’S FISHY. FOR SOMEONE’S SELFISH INTEREST THE NMMC TREASURY IS BEING LOOTED”
Namdeo Bhagat emphasised that since the Mayor J D Sutar and his corporators are in majority, they can approved the proposal but “my allegation is that this contract is only to ensure that the meter keeps running to pay the contractor Crores from public taxes. For how many years are you going to give extension to the contractor?”
The fact that the contractor Ashwini Infrastructure was awarded extension in February 2019 despite the Standing Committee rejecting proves something fishy has happened. “We had given contract for 5 years. When 4 years ended in February 2019, the NMMC Standing Committee had rejected the extension for another 5 years and called for re-tendering. There is something fishy that has happened in this contract. For someone’s selfish interest why is the NMMC treasury being looted.”
“MAJOR CORRUPTION HAS HAPPENED IN THIS CONTRACT”
Namdeo Bhagat lost his cool and added that “Corporators of NMMC are made to sit all day in General Body meetings to get work for a Crore or two approved in their wards while corporators of some wards get work of Rupees 30 to 40 Crores approved in a go.” Namdeo Bhagat added that, “there has been major violations and I say this with responsibility.”
Mayor J D Sutar defended the proposal of the administration saying that “unless a new contractor is not appointed through a fresh tender, who would maintain Wonder Park hence this proposal has to be approved.” Namdeo Bhagat countered the Mayor and questioned “what was the administration doing for the past 5 years then,” alleging that “this is a conspiracy.”
The City Engineer Surendra Patil had lame excuses as he defended the proposal.
Namdeo Bhagat lost his cool further and informed the Commissioner that “the park has been built by the same contractor. All rides are not functional or the park is a mess is the work of the same contractor who is maintaining it.”
“CONDUCT AN ENQUIRY IN THE BANK ACCOUNT OF THE “LOOTER” CONTRACTOR ASHWINI INFRASTRUCTURE TO NAIL THE ‘THIEF’ CORPORATOR”
Namdeo Bhagat termed the money being paid to the contractor every month as a complete wastage of public taxes. He added, “I demand enquiry of the contractor’s bank account and check in whose account has the money been transferred to which politician? Corporators had to plead the Mayor and Commissioner for carrying out even Rs. 25 lacs work.”
He recalled how a television channel had called him when he spoke against the contractor in the Standing Committee and said, “A TV channel asked me if I was blackmailing the contractor but for 5 years which “thief politician” has pushed the contract, should be investigated instead.”
It’s unfortunate that the criminal wastage of public funds in NMMC is reaching shameless levels in the municipal corporation while accountability and transparency are violated in every way possible. #ZebaWarsia – NMTV News.