Civic heads including group leaders and chairpersons of statutory and special committees as well as ward committees will be paid Rs 3,000.
Mumbai: At a time when BMC’s focus is on reducing expenditure, it has decided to spend money on civic leaders by reimbursing their mobile bills. The amount will be credited in the bank deposits of these leaders along with their civic allowances.
According to civic sources, civic heads including group leaders, opposition leaders, and chairpersons of statutory and special committees as well as ward committees will be paid Rs 3,000 while other corporators are already being compensated Rs 1,100 for their mobile bills. The municipal secretary department has tabled the proposal before the group leaders’ meeting for approval.
The BMC has four statutory committees including standing, improvements, education and BEST; and six special committees such as law, health, markets and garden, women and child welfare, works (city), and works (suburbs). Additionally, the civic body has 17 ward committees. Chairpersons of these committees, the mayor and deputy mayor are also provided snacks allowance, personal vehicle, personal staff, and drive and fuel allowance. There will be no curb on mobile use of the mayor and deputy mayor in BMC; they will be reimbursed whatever bills they submit to the civic body, said civic officials. In addition to free BEST bus travel (both AC and non-AC), corporators get Rs 400 attendance allowance for every house general body and civic committee meeting. BMC has also provided them free laptops and smart phones.
Civic activists expressed dismay at the freebies offered to corporators by BMC.
Matunga activist Nikhil Desai said, “There is no harm in providing facilities to corporators as they are public representatives. But how do we ascertain whether they are using them to raise and solve people’s issues. Civic services continue to be in a mess despite corporators being given all types of services.”