NMTV impact ! Footpath loot becomes an issue of debate in NMMC standing committee meeting

In another case of NMTV impact, opposition corporators demanded that the administration bring in detailed proposals of any civic work that the standing committee approves. Shiv Sena corporator bahadur bisht raised the issue after NMTV aired a report on the great footpath loot where sector 17, Vashi’s NCP corporator sampat shewale failed to give any convincing replies and fumbled all the way in the matter of crores of public taxes being drained in the name of footpath repair in his ward.

The great loot of public taxes in the name of footpath repair taken up by NMTV was one of the main subjects of discussions in the weekly NMMC standing committee meeting. It may be recalled that in our report, NMTV had met sector 17, Vashi’s NCP corporator sampat shewale to seek an explanation on rs. 1.45 crores going to be spent in the name of footpath repair in his ward. Sampat shewale had no knowledge of the details of the work. He fumbled and gave lame answers for all our questions. To give a few examples when we asked him why was NMMC planning to remove interlock tiles on footpaths that were in perfect condition, on sampat shewale gave absurd answer and had said that NMMC will use the good paver blocks from sector 17, Vashi in some other area !

Also despite being the one to propose the work, sampat shewale had no idea of the kms of footpaths that is going to be repaired. Clearly, sampat shewale had no justification for spending rs. 1.45 crore in the name of footpath repair in his area leading to allegations that the money will mostly be pocketed by the corrupt officials – corporators – contractors’ nexus. This issue raised by NMMC was taken up by the opposition corporators in the weekly standing committee meeting. Shiv Sena corporator bahadur bisht referred to our report and demanded that NMMC give in writing the work going to be carried out in details in every proposal that is tabled in the standing committee for approval. Bahadur bisht raised the issue when a proposal of constructing gutters from palm beach to karave village at a cost of rs. 1 crore 68 lacs.

Later in an interview with us, he gave an insight on the demand made by him at the weekly standing committee. He said that after watching NMTV report on the great footpath loot, he asked the question but since he could not keep his say properly, he will write a letter to the commissioner with this demand. Making a significant point, he says that the proposal should include the details of the newspapers inviting tenders for the public work and the history of the work too. He explicates that if it is in detail, then they would know otherwise, if people question them about public work being approved in standing committee, they too would fumble due to ignorance like NCP corporator sampat shewale did while speaking to NMTV on the great footpath loot report.

While it is a welcome sign that despite being a new corporator bahadur bisht had the courage to take up the issue of the great footoath loot and raise the need of bringing in transparent and detailed proposal, this is not the first time such a demand has been made. In the past also some corporators have demanded that proposals brought to standing committee should have complete details of work to be done and the history of the work.

Though corporators have been demanding that proposals of civic work should be brought with all technical details, yet, the NMMC administration continues to play mischief. The reason for this could be that making the proposals transparent will make officials and corporators accountable on the crores of public taxes being spent. And this is something that the ring of corrupt contractors-corporators-officials nexus cannot afford. With cameraperson vinayak dalvi, Sana Warsia for NMTV News.

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