Another proposal approved by NMMC at Sector 8, Vashi holding pond is stinking of corruption and blatant, criminal wastage of public funds. In yet another proposal, NMMC administration seems to be violating every sense of scientific thinking and logic required before deciding to spend public funds. Nothing else explains the manner in, which NMMC has abandoned the work of cleaning the Sector 8, Vashi holding pond at the cost Rs. 55 lakhs and when social activist Sandeep Thakur raised some simple logical question on the need to spend lakhs of public taxes on the work, NMMC abandoned it. All the details of yet another tale of corruption from NMMC with NMTV Weekend Exclusive. The controversy surrounding the criminal wastage of public funds at Sector 10’s Vashi Holding Pond is not even over yet and here comes another tale of alleged corruption and again wastage of public funds – this time at Sector 8, Vashi’s holding pond. For those who live in Vashi – are aware that both the holding ponds in Sector 8 and 10 are connected. The pond where one can see a wall built from the main road is the Sector 8 holding pond. It may be recalled that prior to elections, in its spree of approving tenders under the much hyped “Pond Vision” – the NMMC had approved the proposal to de-silt and clean the holding pond at Vashi. The work was awarded at a cost of Rs. 55 lakhs to “R K Patel Engineers and Construction Pvt. Ltd.” – who allegedly is a city builder having his office at J K Chambers at Sector 17, Vashi. Sources allege that the builder gave the work of de-silting to another contractor on a certain commission fee – a practice rampant in NMMC. When the sub contractor began work, social activist Sandeep Thakur raised certain questions on the necessity of the work. Sandeep Thakur informed us that in 2006, NMMC had cleaned the sludge from this holding pond and built sumps at a cost of over Rs. 30 lakhs. The sumps were meant to accumulate sludge. This would allow NMMC to clean the sumps and the expense of cleaning the holding pond would be much less. Even NMMC confirmed that they had in fact cleaned the pond at a cost of over Rs. 30 lakhs in 2006. However it not even been 4 years and NMMC just prior to elections approved a Rs. 55 lakhs contract to clean the pond again. It did not come as a surprise that when Sandeep Thakur enquired about the sumps that NMMC had made in 2006 after spending lakhs of public taxes and how often were they cleaned, the NMMC administration had no answer. An indication that these questions is making NMMC sweat and panicky is that the work on the site has been stopped. The social activist admits that it looks like a case where NMMC is trying to save its face from committing a big blunder like they did in the case of the illegal garden in the adjoined holding pond at Vashi. When we raised the issue with the local corporator Vitthal More who perhaps knows the blunders of NMMC administrative functioning more after the case of the illegal holding pond, he again said that it is the NMMC Commissioner and his team of officials who should study the need of such proposal before presenting them for approval of corporators. Senior corporator Shivram Patil says that there is just no planning in NMMC. Shivram Patil admits that sumps are useful if they are cleaned on time. And looks like the NMMC administration is not telling the corporators the truth about abandoning the work – this is because officials have told Vitthal More that work will be done after monsoon but when Shivram Patil questioned them, they said that they would take a decision on the need of the work after monsoon. While the NMMC administration is again taking the corporators for a ride, it’s not difficult to imagine that the real reason for approving such shady work. Looks like the NMMC administration and corporators have still not learnt from the case of the illegal garden at Vashi’s holding pond. This new tale of corruption from the adjoined holding pond in the same sector seems to be another case where Crores of public taxes are being drained only for corruption and serving the vested interests of the corporators-contractors-officials nexus in NMMC. Sana Warsia – NMTV News.
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