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Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Firms of wives of BMC staffers get Covid contracts: Corporators demand probe by IAS officer

Documents accessed under the Right to Information Act shows that the companies received contracts worth Rs 65.36 lakh and Rs 1.11 crore between 2019 to 2021.

Written by Laxman Singh | Mumbai |
Updated: July 10, 2021 4:10:05 pm
BJP group leader Prabhakar Shinde said all the new companies registered with BMC during Covid-19 should be probed. (File Photo)

Corporators on Friday demanded a high-level probe in connection to companies set up by the wives of two BMC staffers bagging several Covid-19 contracts in Mumbai’s D ward, which covers areas like Grant Road, Girgaon and Malabar Hill Road.

At the Standing Committee meeting on Friday, Chairman Yashwant Jadhav directed the BMC administration to submit a report on the “entire episode” at next week’s meet.

During the meeting, Samajwadi Party MLA Rais Shaikh said the matter should be investigated by an IAS-level officer. “The contracts were awarded to these two companies in D ward. How can officials from the same ward probe the matter? It should be investigated by an IAS officer. The additional municipal commissioner should head the probe,” he added.

“The BMC should come up with strict policies to deal with such issues. All government employees have to declare their assets publicly. BMC’s service rules are vague and need reforms,” said Shaikh.

Leader of Opposition in BMC and Congress’ Ravi Raja, who raised the issue in the Standing Committee, demanded that the employees be suspended. “This is one example where employees are indirectly setting up companies and getting contracts. There must be more such cases in other wards. A detailed inquiry should be held into Covid-19 contracts.”

BJP group leader Prabhakar Shinde said all the new companies registered with BMC during Covid-19 should be probed.

Documents accessed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act by activist Santosh Daundkar shows that companies R R enterprises and Shree Enterprises received contracts worth Rs 65.36 lakh and Rs 1.11 crore, respectively, between 2019 to 2021 in D ward. R R Enterprises is owned by Riya Ratnesh Bhosale, wife of Ratnesh Bhosale, who is currently posted in H East ward as a peon. Shree Enterprises is run by Aparna A Narale, wife of Arjun Narale, who is a labourer in D ward.

Deputy Municipal Commissioner (Zone 1) Harshad Kale has already ordered a preliminary inquiry into this matter. Civic officials said that they are probing the conflict of interest angle and if these staffers directly or indirectly helped the firms to bag the contracts.

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