In response to an RTI application, the Municipal Corporations of Delhi have admitted to spending Rs 1 crore per month on maintenance of MCD web portal (mcd.gov.in).
The corporations have been paying this amount to Tech Mahindra for the past year-and-a-half. The amount spent on maintaining the website of the Delhi government, with several departments under one site, is a little over Rs 12 lakh per annum.
According to a senior official of the South Delhi Municipal Corporation, “This is only one-third the amount the unified corporation (pre-trifurcation) agreed to pay to Tech Mahindra for providing complete information technology solutions to the three corporations.”
In November 2013, a dispute over payment between Tech Mahindra, which runs the MCD e-governance website, and the civic agencies, led to week-long disruption of online services. This was resolved after the civic agencies approached the high court. According to the corporation, the court ordered payment of Rs 1 crore per month to Tech Mahindra taking note of the larger public interest involved in the functioning of web services.
The opposition has called the expenditure a “criminal waste of money”. Councillor Abhishek Dutt questioned why the civic bodies had not challenged the order in the Supreme Court.
Tech Mahindra had stopped services on October 25, 2013, claiming the civic agencies had dues amounting to Rs 116 crore.
“The MCDs spend a crore per month on maintenance of the site but the most pertinent sections concerning performance of councillors and development of wards have been deactivated. To what effect is the money being paid then?” Dutt said.
In its response to the RTI query, the SDMC (which takes care of IT solutions on behalf of the three corporations), states the expenditure on e-governance project till now is Rs 65 crore. Mayor Subhash Arya said he was not aware of this expense and “will look into this”.