Even as the civic administration is gearing up to hand out new laptops equipped with hi-tech features to all its corporators,its repeated attempts to recover laptops from former corporators have come to nought.
The civic administration has been sending reminders to 20 previous corporators who are yet to return the laptops given to them at the beginning of their term. These corporators are supposed to either return the laptops or pay Rs 24,275,the basic cost of the device.
Municipal Secretary Mrudula Kulkarni said,We have reminded all corporators to return the laptops within a specified time.
Former corporators who have not returned the official laptops include Babasaheb Bansode (RPI),Prescila Kadam (Congress),Janak Sanghvi (BJP),Nirmala Singh (Congress),and Devidas Borse (Congress),among others.
Former corporator Ajit Raorane of NCP said,I have to deposit my laptop but I cannot go to BMC just to do that. It takes two hours to go and come back and I will return the laptop when I go to the BMC office for other work.
Devidas Borse,former Congress corporator from Chembur,said,I have not had the opportunity to return the laptop,but I plan to do it soon. It is not a big issue.
The BMC had given laptops to all 227 corporators and some top officers at a cost of Rs 1.13 crore in 2009. The objective was to provide corporators online access to various proposals coming up for discussion in different committees of the civic body.
Earlier,the civic administration had warned them that they would not be allowed to contest elections unless they did not pay for or return the laptops. The rule was later relaxed until after elections.
A senior civic official said that as a last resort,those who do not pay or return the laptops would have to pay additional property tax and the amount would be adjusted accordingly.
After repeated requests from newly-elected corporators,the civic body had recently agreed to provide laptops with the latest software. The laptops,expected to be delivered to them by the month-end,will be equipped with latest programmes,including SAP (System Application Programming),which the BMC is currently using.
Corporators can now go to the ward office of their constituency and get all work orders,cost of projects and plans on their laptop,said a civic official.