Last week Navi Mumbai News had aired a report on the queries raised by the NMMC audit report of three years that showed several irregularities in the NMMC Education Department. Though earlier attempts, Education Committee Chairman Ram Vichare was not available for comments, after our telecast the Education Committee Chairman and Officer spoke to us about the queries and more on municipal education. NMMC Education Committee Chairman Ram Vichare, NMMC Education Officer P R Pawar and other NMMC Education Dept. officials spoke to Navi Mumbai News and gave an insight on the queries raised by the audit reports of NMMC. We bring to you the queries aired in our report and the clarification of the NMMC Education Committee on the same: 1) 4000 benches costing nearly Rs.1 crore were purchased without a tender, apparently paying higher price for each bench, to a favored supplier. Justifying the rates, Education Committee Chairman Ram Vichare said that the benches were bought from a supplier approved by the state government. 2) NMMC spent Rs. 84000 on furniture and electricity for the 5 free computers donated by LIONS Club Mumbai to NMMC Schools and none of them were being utilized. Explicating that though it is difficult to impart computer education with the present teachers in municipal schools, yet the education dept. has begun computer education in six municipal schools. 3) Inspite of Rs. 4.75 lakhs being approved for the purchase of a jeep for the control, management and implementation of educational projects, the corporation purchased a Toyota Qualis car for Rs. 6.83 lakhs. The Board already had a Tata Indica car. Further the expense for fuel, driver’s salary and allowances has not been provided for in the budgetary allocation. This is a mysterious query as the Edu. Comm. claims that they never had or have a Qualis. 4) The tenders for the supply of nutritious food to the NMMC schools students was awarded to the 2nd lowest bidder Garden Hygienic Snacks Pvt. Ltd. The corporation could have saved revenue if the same was either given to the lowest bidder or if the Board had negotiated for a lower price from the second lowest bidder. Ram Vichare does not agree and explicates why. 5) The Audit report remarked that the education committee was not serious about seeking the grants due from the State Govt. For 3 years, which resultantly is borne by NMMC. RV informed that the education cess that NMMC was due to pay to the state was delayed and hence in turn it was the state, which did not release the grants despite the Edu. Dept. having applied for the same.
February 22, 2010