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RTI Activist Pramod Kadam’s RTI Reveals…BMC gives Rs 26,500 salary to Sweepers & Peons-on-hire for Municipal Schools?! WOW!

19 November 2011 No Comment

(From the Jt.Editor’s Desk), Mumbai, 19 November ‘11: Municipal Commissioner Subodh Kumar and Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan have got us all convinced that they are serious about cleaning up. Here is a small shocker that makes us wonder just how serious they are.

RTI activist Pramod Kadam learned that the Municipal Corporation had entered into a contract with a couple of firms to paying a mind-blowing salary of Rs 26,578 for 759 personnel, and Rs 26,199 for 754 personnel. The personnel were sweepers, school attendants (i.e. peons), plumbers and electricians to Municipal schools. Please note, this is probably a bit more than the salary of Principals and Headmasters of Mumbai’s Municipal schools, and definitely more than even experienced teachers and staff!

The names of these firms are:

· Krystal Trade Com Pvt. Ltd — http://www.krystal-group.com/contactus.php

· BVG India Ltd — http://www.bvgindia.com/contact_us.html

The payment for this three-year contract, which began on 1 February 2009-10, is being done on a monthly basis. The monthly payment is nearly Rs 2.02 crore to Krystal, and nearly Rs 1.98 crore to BVG.

See work order: http://tinyurl.com/Municipal-schools-work-contrac

Being a bank employee, Kadam also found out that the actual salaries credited by these agencies to their salary accounts was a meagre Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,200. As anybody can see, the massive amount pocketed by the agency – over Rs 21,000 per employee provided – is extravagant and unreasonable.

He also found out that a comparable contract award had been awarded in 2008 for security and maintenance of Prabodhankar Thackerey Hall in Borivli for Rs 6,600 per personnel per month. Hence the difference between these two contracts, awarded about one year apart by the same Standing Committee, was Rs 20,000. Besides this huge wastage of public resources, he also found that many things were not in order.

After a lot of RTI research work over a couple of years, Pramod Kadam finally complained in January 2011 to Municipal Commissioner Subodh Kumar, CM Prithviraj Chavan, the Municipal Chief Auditor and others. Read his detailed complaint: http://tinyurl.com/Complaint-2-Muni-Commr-CM-Jan

A couple of months later, the audit department confirmed Kadam’s allegations. However, instead of comparing the salary with the Rs 6,600 benchmark of Prabodhankar Thackeray Hall, the auditors compared it with Rs 13,800 per head paid to the security staff of toll (jakaat) nakas. On this basis, it calculated that there was excess payment of Rs 34.52 lakhs per year.

Perhaps more importantly, it questioned how these firms could have been selected when they did not have the necessary Income Tax and Sales Tax clearance papers. Read the MARATHI report of the municipal auditors: http://tinyurl.com/Muni-Audit-Report

However, eight months after the chief auditor’s report, the contract continues. Not only that, as the municipal elections near, almost coinciding the renewal date of this contract(Feb 1, 2012), one hears over the grapevine that THIS EXTRAVAGANT CONTRACT IS ABOUT TO BE RENEWED.

Why will it continue? Because some political parties in MCGM need the KICKBACK MONEY FOR THE ELECTIONS.

Mr Municipal Commissioner Sir, Mr Chief Minister Sir, are you listening? What do you have to say about this? In this instance of blatant corruption, the buck clearly stops with you.

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