In a bid to bring financial discipline in the civic body so that ward-level works are expedited till the end of financial year,the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to allow work orders to contractors only till January 31.
With the code of conduct for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections expected to be in place by early March,the BMC wants to make sure that administrative process for all the budgeted works is over by month end so that implementation can begin. However,projects being funded by both the State and Central governments including Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission will be exempted from this order.
Municipal Commissioner Jairaj Phatak had in November last year issued a circular directing all the civic officials to give work orders only till January 15. This means that the corporators would have to plan the expenditure of their Rs 1.45 crore fund and inform the civic body to implement the work by that time. For actual implementation of any work,tenders are to be invited and later work order needs to be issued to that contractor.
But with three days left for the deadline,the corporators created a row in the General Body meeting on Monday,asking the administration to take back the circular. They complained that they were personally not informed about the circular and therefore were not in condition to follow it. Work orders are normally allowed to be given till March 31,the end of the financial year. While this will help the civic administration in bringing discipline to the finance department,this will harm the corporators wanting to carry ward-level works, said corporator Bhalchandra Shirsat. If the corporators are not quick to make their budget expenditure,they might not be able to implement various works as planned.
Corporator Rajendra Chaubey,who was among those who objected to the circular,said the deadline should be extended till February 15 so that the elected representatives and BMC get enough time to make plans and implement the works.
After much debates and discussions,Phatak said he has extended the deadline till month end. It is seen that almost all wards have completed 85-90 per cent works in their jurisdiction. So for the remaining works,the time till January 31 is sufficient. Otherwise,we will make an exception and review the cases where work orders are not possible by the deadline and take a decision accordingly, Phatak said. He added that the move would help in the budgeted amount being fully utilised instead of getting lapsed.