Scrutiny panel move by civic chief irks BJP legislators too

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Nagpur: Even as corporators of the ruling BJP in Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) are up in arms against municipal commissioner Virendra Singh’s move aimed at judicious utilization of funds, action against unauthorized constructions and illegal religious structures, party legislators too have questioned the civic chief’s decision to set up a new committee for scrutiny of works before and after the tendering process.
Singh, on August 27, formed a seven-member committee comprising additional municipal commissioner, deputy municipal commissioner, chief accounts and finance officer, chief audit officer, legal adviser, chief of IT, PRO and heads of respective departments to scrutinize works. The committee was authorized to verify the necessity of the works to be carried out, technical aspects etc after clearance from the standing committee and civic chief. The committee was also given powers to consult successful bidder and to negotiate rates and monitor execution.

Irked over this, East Nagpur MLA Krishna Khopde told TOI that the committee would further delay execution of works. “It (the committee) will prove to be detrimental to the interest of the NMC and public,” he said. “This committee should not have power to scrutinize the works proposed by legislators. Majority of the officers in the committee clear works before tabling them before the standing committee or civic chief,” he said.

South Nagpur MLA Sudhakar Kohle said it would be infringement of the rights of the legislators if the committee does scrutiny of the works proposed by them. “NMC is an agency that is supposed to only execute the works proposed by us. Funds are given by the state government. Therefore, interference will not be tolerated,” he said.

Central Nagpur MLA Vikas Kumbhare said NMC utilizing legislators’ funds for its own works in itself is a major violation. “Works proposed by us are delayed to a great extent. We have received complaints regarding payments to contractors being put on hold. There is no reason to withhold payments when we have already made provision for the same and government releasing the funds. Also, the civic chief is not paying any heed to complaints lodged by us. One such example is the worse condition of the road connecting Mominpura with Golibar Square. I had written several letters asking for repairs of the road but nothing happened,” he said.

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