BMC has till now spent over Rs 78 lakh on the salary of 15 fellows, the personal assistant of the commissioner and a media advisor.
Objecting to BMC’s decision to put a freeze on new recruitments, Shiv Sena group leader Vishakha Raut had last week sought details of the number of fellows and officers on special duty (OSD) employed by the civic body and how much is being spent on their salaries.
At a meeting of the standing committee, Raut alleged that while BMC had stopped hiring citing a finance crunch, it was “spending crores on fellows and OSDs”.
Last year, the BMC had hired 15 fellows after they completed the “CM’s fellowship programme”. They were hired at a monthly salary of Rs 75,000. The BMC had said their expertise would be used in civic governance and they would also work as “watchdogs”.
After undergoing the fellowship programme, a brainchild of former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, the fellows are appointed in the account department as well as in the offices of the additional and deputy municipal commissioners.
The BMC has also appointed a PA to Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi as well as a media advisor and an OSD in Mayor Kishori Pednekar’s office.
Replying to Raut on Friday, the BMC said that there are 15 fellows, with each being paid Rs 75,000 every month. Till January, the civic body has paid them Rs 11.25 lakh.
Appointed for a year, the BMC will spend Rs 1.10 crore on them from November 2019 to October 2020.
At Rs 65,000 monthly salary, BMC has paid the PA in the commissioner’s office Rs 5.13 lakh. Besides, BMC has spent Rs 61.77 lakh on the media advisor who was appointed in 2016 by then commissioner Ajoy Mehta. It has also hired an OSD for the mayor’s office in January and will pay Rs 1.25 lakh for it annually.
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