Perhaps Navi Mumbai’s elitest sector, the ward’s citizens, specifically senior citizens are up in arms against NMMC and their local corporator Dayawati Shewale for planning to build a Senior Citizens Recreational Center inside the only park in the Sector. Ward 63 Sector 17 in Vashi is known to house educated citizens and retired professionals who have worked as scientists and noted engineers with the government of India. The main protest against the plan is coming from them.
WHAT IS THE PROJECT?
The NMMC is planning to build a recreational center for senior citizens inside the late Meentai Thackeray garden. It’s a part of a city-wide initiative under which, senior citizens homes have come up across all nodes in Navi Mumbai.
Date when work commenced : The work started in November 2019
Contractor : M/s So Best Services
Time period to complete work : 5 months
Cost of work : Rupees 27 lacs 46 thousand 80 Rupees
As soon as work started senior citizens started opposing it. One resident who we caught walking in the garden said, “the immediately opposite buildings that were getting fresh air is going to stop. We have no idea who approved it but we are writing to NMMC as a group of senior citizens to stop work immediately. We don’t want a recreational center inside our only garden.”
CORPORATOR DAYAWATI SHEWALE’S SON WINS CONTRACT TO BUILD THE CENTER
What comes as a shock is that the contract for building the recreational center against citizen’s will is awarded to the son of the ward’s corporator Dayawati Shewale. The Contractor M/s So Best Services reportedly owns the company that is building the recreational center in the garden.
“WE DIDN’T FORCE NMMC ANYONE TO GIVE CONTRACT” SAYS SAMPAT SHEWALE
Local corporator Dayawati Shewale’s husband Sampat Shewale did not deny that his son has won the contract. Refusing to accept that any corrupt ring in NMMC, he said, “The tender process is an all India process and then tender is approved. Go and ask anyone if I said that this work should be given to a particular company.”
NMMC’s TENDER PROCESS COMES UNDER SCANNER
The fact that the son of a local corporator has bagged a contract in her ward smells of not just corruption but is also an endorsement of allegations that NMMC’s tender process is “rigged.”
Under the guide of an online all India tender process, the same ring of contractors, that are often dummy companies or direct companies owned by corporators, win all public works. The result is corruption and low-grade public work leading to criminal wastage of public taxes.