In yet another controversy, corporators from the ruling BJP and opposition parties have accused the Pimpri-Chinchwad municipal Corporation (PCMC) administration of not following the norms and floating tenders of a project before seeking its policy approval from corporators.
Under the Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules, 2016, the PCMC has issued tenders, appointed a contractor and given work orders for setting up a plant. The project involves collecting, transporting and processing construction debris at a plant.
The PCMC will pay collection charges, which have been fixed at Rs 13.50 per km per tonne. As for users, charges have been fixed at Rs 15 per tonne per kilometre. Also, for processing of the debris at the plant, charges have been fixed at Rs 250 per tonne.
In the civic general body meeting on Saturday, there was a massive uproar when the PCMC placed the “proposal for getting approval” for the user and processing charges. Corporators alleged that the civic administration had violated the mandatory norms by first floating tenders, giving work orders and then seeking policy approval. The administration, however, said the policy was approved last year and they had sought approval for “rate fixing” for the project.
On Sunday, BJP corporator Babu Nair told The Indian Express: “Corporators had no clue what was going on. We did not know that the civic administration had floated tenders, appointed a contractor and even given work orders for setting up of the debris processing plant.”
At the general body meeting when Nair “exposed” the issue, other BJP corporators and those from the opposition joined him and debunked the administration for keeping them in dark about the project.
Nair said the PCMC floated tenders without getting due approval of the civic general body, which is mandatory. “The civic environment department has not only given approval but has also issued work orders in this connection for setting up a waste processing plant,” he said.
Opposition leader Nana Kate said the administration should clarify as to how it went ahead with the whole process even when the policy had not been approved by the GB.
Meanwhile, Sanjay Kulkarni, who heads the environment department, said: “The policy had been approved last year. We had only sought approval for the user charges.”
Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar also said the policy had been approved earlier by the civic general body, but on Saturday they sought approval for fixing charges. “We had not fixed rates because there was no guidelines from the government. We have recently received the guidelines and accordingly we placed the issue before the GB,” he said.