Anticipating the announcement of the election dates for Gujarat on Thursday afternoon, and the consequent enforcement of the model code of conduct, the BJP-ruled Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) advanced its standing committee meeting by an hour and a half to clear proposals worth Rs 530 crore in just 10 minutes.
The Election Commission was expected to announce the dates for Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat elections at 4 pm. The AMC hurriedly advanced its meeting — scheduled for 4.30 pm — to 3 pm. There were 53 proposals on the agenda of the meeting, of which 15 were of high-value projects that amounted to Rs 530 crore.
Among them was the proposal to provide treated drinking water in Ognaj, Shilaj, Bhadaj, Thaltej and Sarkhej, which alone are estimated to cost Rs 130 crore. Another high-value proposed project is the setting up of a 100 MLD sewage treatment plant in Vinzol area, estimated to cost Rs 152 crore.
Other projects include construction of a flyover near Ajit Mills, estimated to cost Rs 61 crore, and a four-lane road overbridge in Sola area, which will cost more than Rs 70 crore. Ahmedabad City Mayor Gautam Shah defended the high-value proposals, saying: “Be it a small amount or a big amount, the process involved is same and it is done with all due deliberation and discussion. Most of the work is done by the lower committee which sends us the proposal.”
He added, “The proposals were brought together in a group, so that once the model code of conduct comes into force, their implementation is not hindered. By doing so, the AMC can put the projects in motion and save about two months’ time.”
When asked about holding the meeting ahead of schedule, state BJP treasurer Surendra Patel said, “It was held early because the election code of conduct was expected to come into force at 4 pm. By advancing the time, it would be convenient to finish the meeting on time.”