tree-plantation-1Guess what is the cost of planting one tree according to NMMC Commissioner Vijay Nahata – well it’s Rs. 8000. Well we were shocked too. But this is what the Commissioner had proposed in one proposal that he tabled at NMMC Standing Committee this week. However, the proposal stank of blatant corruption and that is why the Commissioner was forced to hold the proposal for another week. Navi Mumbai Municipal Commissioner Vijay Nahata has proposed to plant trees at the Turbhe Dumping Ground at the rate of Rs. 8000 per tree. Well, we aren’t saying this but it a proposal sent by him for the Standing Committee approval this week is. The Commissioner Vijay Nahata brought a proposal for the approval of a tender bid of M/s Ask Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd. to prepare a Tree Belt around the Turbhe Dumping Ground and maintaining it for 5 years at a cost of Rs. 3.59 Crores. The contractor would have planted 4000 trees if the proposal was approved. When calculated, this meant that the contractor was going to plant each tree at a whopping cost of Rs. 8000/- per tree. During the meeting, NCP Corporator Vinaya Madhvi raised the issue of planting the 4,000 trees at a rate of above Rs.8000/- per tree. The bureaucratic and administration nexus was again exposed when Congress Corporator Dashrath Bhagat pointed out three contractors were rejected in the said proposal “for lack of experience”. He demanded to know what experience was required for planting trees. Commissioner Vijay Nahata sensed rough weather and so was compelled to hold his own proposal to the standing committee for a week. The Commissioner said that he needed to reply to the queries of members or re-draft the proposal. However, the said proposal of planting and maintaining 4000 trees in affixed location at a cost of Rs. 3.59 Crores in indeed shocking in a city where the corporation’s Tree Authority announces the planting of 50,000 tree every year. Not only this even NGO’s like Green Hope led by ruling front’s legislator Sandeep Naik announce plantation of 2 lakhs trees all over the city and had the NMMC administration approached the MLA’s NGO, perhaps trees would have been planted free of cost saving NMMC’s Rs. 3.59 Crores. Looks like either the NMMC administration thinks that corporators are a bunch of fools or can be managed in getting such proposals approved. What else explains this proposal that will reap Crores of profit to the contractor M/s Ask Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd. Who doesn’t remember that Ask Infrastructure is the same contractor who had encroached on a public garden for months and only after NMTV News highlighted the same, the contractor had removed the illegal hutments within the public garden. If this controversial proposal of planting trees at Rs. 8000 per tree is approved by the NMMC Standing Committee next week, then it will be blatant drain of civic funds to serve vested interests in connivance of NMMC administration and contractors like Ask Infrastructure who definitely have the blessings of corporators of NMMC. With bureau inputs, Vishwarath Nayar for NMTV News.

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