THE Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) plan to spend Rs 40 crore to maintain seven suction machines, which is nearly 20 times their total cost, was opposed by the leader of the opposition and others at the general body meeting held on Thursday. The civic body’s sewerage operations department is set to spend the amount.
According to tender conditions, the BMC is buying seven suction machines from two different companies at a total cost of around Rs 2 crore. But after issuing work order to the companies, the civic body will have to spend almost Rs 40 crore towards the maintenance of the machines over a period eight years. The maintenance cost of these seven machines in the first year is Rs 3 crore.
Corporators alleged that the BMC’s sewerage operations department floated the tenders only to favour the two companies. “The conditions and rules of the tenders seemed to have been tweaked so as to favour these selected companies. If not, then the department engineers and the BMC commissioner must take it back. Why can’t the department itself take the responsibility of maintaining the machines? It will definitely cut down the cost,” said Ravi Raja, a Congress corporator and the leader of opposition in the BMC.
According to the tender, the BMC had shortlisted a company, Hindustan Engineering Corporation. The civic body will buy four suction vehicles/machines for Mumbai city region at the cost of Rs 24.75 lakh each. For these machines, which in total cost around Rs 99 lakhs, the civic body will shell out Rs 19.24 crore towards maintenance over a period of eight years.
For the eastern suburbs, the civic body will purchase three such suction vehicles/machines at a total cost of Rs 73.50 lakh. The BMC will spend Rs 13.76 crore additionally towards the maintenance of the three machines for eight years.
A senior engineer from the sewerage operations department declined comment saying the matter will be discussed at the standing committee meeting on Friday. “It will be inappropriate to say anything about the proposal at this stage. After taking feedback from senior officials and the standing committee members we can make necessary changes,” he said.
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