Cabinet sets 45-day deadline on proposals before BEST committee

The state Cabinet on Wednesday decided that proposals placed before the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking’s committee must be passed or rejected within 45 days.

Written by Express News Service | Published: May 3, 2012 12:40 am

The state Cabinet on Wednesday decided that proposals placed before the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) Undertaking’s committee must be passed or rejected within 45 days. If no decision is taken by the committee that comprises elected representatives of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC),the proposal would be deemed as passed.

Also,once a proposal passed by the BEST committee is placed before the general body of the BMC,the council must take a decision within 90 days.

The Cabinet on Wednesday gave its nod to proposed amendments of the law that will now be tabled before the legislature and passed before coming into force. “These amendments were done last year for the municipal corporations’ Standing Committee and other statutory committees. Only the BEST committee was not governed by the need for timebound decisions. The amendments ensure that the committee does not avoid taking a decision,” said an Urban Development department official.

However,the state government will check the proposals that are deemed passed due to lapse of the 45-day period.

The Cabinet also cleared a proposal to make amendments in the powers of the BEST general manager including that of entering into contracts. While there had been parity until,recently,in the powers of the municipal commissioner and the BEST general manager within their respective organisations,the powers of the commissioner had been amended a year ago,permitting him to enter into contracts up to the extent of Rs 50 lakh without seeking permission of the elected members of the Standing Committee. The GM’s powers had not been similarly revised.

The Cabinet also cleared a proposal to allow the income and expenditure estimates prepared by the BEST general manager to be treated as the budget of the undertaking,if the committee is unable to pass the budget. Again,a similar amendment in law had been passed last year to permit the commissioner’s estimates of income and expenditure to be treated as the budget. Recently,the election code of conduct caused a delay in passing the budget in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.

“This is to ensure that the work of the undertaking does not come to a grinding halt,salaries will be paid and work will continue until the elected members are finally able to pass the budget,” the official added.

HC directive to BEST on traffic petition

Responding to a petition seeking strict implementation of traffic rules,the Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed General Manager of Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport undertaking (BEST) to be present in the court for the hearing of the case. The matter will be heard on Monday,when a joint meeting of all the officials will take place in the High Court conference room.

A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice N M Jamdar also directed the Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic),the secretary to the state Home Department as well as officials from the RTO and the state transport department to remain present.

A PIL has been filed by the Bombay Bar Association. Appearing as an intervener in the case,lawyer Armin Wandrewala said that most of the zebra crossings at traffic junctions have not been repainted. In the March 12 hearing,the BMC had assured the court that work would be completed by the end of March. Wandrewala also said that once monsoon sets in,it would be difficult to undertake any repair work.

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