Thursday, February 19, 2009

Chairman Sandeep Naik Steers Studied Discussions on Proposed NMMC Budget-2009-10.

The first two days of the budget discussions in NMMC Standing Committee saw Chairman Sandeep Naik steering a powerful debate and encouraging members to studied discussions rarely seen in any Standing Committee meet prior to this. The Standing Committee scheduled three back to back marathon meetings to discuss on the proposed NMMC Budget of 2009 – 2010.
On day 1, only Chairman Sandeep Naik seemed to have studied the budget to have a healthy debate and discussion with the administration while on the second day, other members too joined the Chairman in the discussions. We bring to some of the highlights of the discussions:• Chairman Sandeep Naik expressed disappointment on the figures of revenue generated from the cess department in the present fiscal. Despite DMC Cess Pendhari giving explanations on the incompetence of NMMC administration in several areas in this department, Sandeep Naik remained unconvinced and urged the administration to show more determination and efficiency in increasing the collection from cess this year.•
Chairman Sandeep Naik also asked the Town Planning Office to give a time frame when the administration will have the city’s development plan in place. For the last two budgets, members have been demanding the administration to ready the development plan but so far the latter has failed to do so, giving CIDCO an open ground to give away several plots and give permission for change of use.

While the NMMC administration has been boasting of water audit, Sandeep Naik pointed out several lacunae in the water supply department and has asked NMMC administration to present a report on the actual supply of water to each segment of the city, the actual amount billed in each of this segment and the losses that the department has been incurring with the reason of the losses. Till day 2 of the discussions, the administration had not presented this report. • Chairman Sandeep Naik also demanded NMMC to show the figures spent on making roads dug by contractors and the amount recovered from the contractors – this is one area where sources allege lot of corruption and wastage of public money takes place. • On Day 2 of the discussions, other members of the Standing Committee joined the debates and discussions. On the subject of hoarding policy, Avinash Lad said that the corporation should increase the revenue projections from Rs. 4 Crore to atleast Rs. 10 Cr. Standing Committee Chairman Sandeep Naik backed the demand and said that the corporation should alteast earn a revenue of up to Rs. 20 Cr from hoardings and advertisements. He said that the corporators had passed the hoarding policy as was presented by the administration and hence some officer should be held responsible if the collection is not at par with the promised projections. • Vijay Mane exposed the corruption prevailing in the NMMC Fire Fighting Dept and hinting at the dept’s last Chief R T Mhatre said that he had allowed fire norms violations to take place. He also exposed that it was due to this that several towers in the city indulged in the practice of getting a fire NOC and then removing the equipments from the same project to install it in another project. • After long discussions on license fees, NMMC Commissioner Vijay Nahata promised to form a separate department for issuing licenses. • There were also a lot of discussions on the increasing encroachment and illegal structures in the city. Namdeo Bhagat said that the city was turning into Ulhasnagar. Chairman Sandeep Naik said that if illegal constructions in the city were not controlled, then future generation would question their role and will not forgive them. On this Commissioner Vijay Nahata said that within 15 days the administration will restructure the anti-encroachment squad. • The biggest expose of the discussions by the members was the alarming levels of corruption prevailing in the ward offices of NMMC. All members said that there is a racket working at ward office levels to collect clandestine (under-table) fees from hawkers and illegal structures and encroachments. • Chairman Sandeep Naik appealed to the administration to keep the common man as the epicenter of all their work. Join us the same time tomorrow to watch a report on the final day of budget discussions from the Standing Committee meet and the outcome and impact of these discussions.

No comments: