Raising a question mark over the rise in the expenditure, corporators demanded a probe into the matter.
Mumbai: While the number of dewatering pumps — to be installed at water logging spots in the city — has come down this year, the cost Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will be spending to hire them has risen by almost 100 percent.
The BMC will spend Rs 54 crore to hire 279 dewatering pumps from 14 contractors for a period of two years. Previously, the BMC had spent Rs 27 crore to install 295 pumps for a span of two years.
Raising a question mark over the rise in the expenditure, corporators demanded a probe into the matter. BJP group leader Manoj Kotak said, “It is surprising that the BMC is spending huge amount of money on constructing pumping stations in the city, but it is still hiring dewatering pumps to discharge water from flood-prone areas.”
Another BJP corporator Rajashri Shirwadkar said, “In my ward at Sion, there are several flooding spots. But dewatering pumps were found to be of no use. Either they were not functioning or their operator was not available there.”
However an BMC official said, “The increase in the cost was owing to the rise in minimum labour charges, which have almost doubled. We have been informed by the labour commission that if the minimum charges are not paid then as the principal employer we would be penalised. This was despite us telling that the contractor was responsible for paying the labourers.”