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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

BJP alleges graft in BMC contracts, says sections of MMC act misused

As per the provision of the act, the Standing Committee should be informed about all such contracts within 15 days of them being awarded.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
September 29, 2021 10:47:19 pm
Section 69 and 72 of MMC Act, 1888 empowers the municipal commissioner and the mayor to award contracts worth Rs 5 lakh to Rs 75 lakh without inviting tenders. (File)

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has alleged corruption in contracts awarded by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) by using section 69 and 72 of Mumbai Municipal Corporation (MMC) Act, 1888.

Section 69 and 72 of MMC Act, 1888 empowers the municipal commissioner and the mayor to award contracts worth Rs 5 lakh to Rs 75 lakh without inviting tenders. As per the provision of the act, the Standing Committee should be informed about all such contracts within 15 days of them being awarded.

BJP MLA from Charkop, Yogesh Sagar, said at a press conference held at the BMC Headquarters that the corporation has failed to submit details of such contracts with the Standing Committee within stipulated time.

The BJP said that after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the financial powers of commissioner, mayor and other officials were increased to execute various projects related to COVID-19. For commissioner and mayor, it was Rs 5 crore to Rs 10 crore, and at Deputy Municipal Commissioner-level, it was between Rs 1 crore to Rs 5 crore.

“In all, contracts worth Rs 5,724 crore were awarded by using section 69 and 71 till now. On Wednesday, a number of four- to five-year-old proposals were tabled before the Standing Committee for information. This is clearly a violation of MMC Act,” said Sagar.

BJP group leader Prabhakar Shinde said proper procedures were not followed. “Former municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta had said that the administration will now use section 69 and 72 in very few cases. But it is shocking to see the corporation has awarded contracts worth Rs 5,724 crore. There has to be detailed inquiry in all the contracts awarded by using this section,” said Shinde.

Meanwhile, mayor Kishori Pednekar has refuted all allegations. “If the BJP feels there is corruption, then they have a mechanism to probe it. They should do their work and we will work for the development of the city,” said Pednekar.

Standing Committee chairman Yashwant Jadhav has called BJP’s allegation an “election gimmick”.

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