Alleging that Nationalist Congress Party in civic body was interpreting the state government directions over garbage transportation rates as per their “convenience” city Congress has accused the party of only raising the matter of ‘equal pay for equal work’ to meet their political goals.
The proposal for collection and transportation of garbage has been the bone of contention between the ruling NCP and opposition Congress in the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC).
“The retabling of garbage transportation was a serious blow to the NCP. This had never happened in the history of the civic body. It had hurt their ego and was like an insult to the corporation. So, during the discussion on the rate to be offered for garbage transportation, they only raised the matter of equal pay for equal work.
Actually there were other points which could have been discussed and the rates could have been brought down,” said Dashrath Bhagat, Navi Mumbai district Congress chief.
He added, “We are not against cutting salaries of workers, but how to get the work done in the salary recommended by the urban development department is the lookout of the administration.
NCP raised the issue of salary cut because they wanted to score a political point, salary was never an issue. Actually, there are several heads where we can cut down expenses and bring the rate at par with what has been recommended by the UD.”
Bhagat said, “When it has been suggested that NMMC will require 109 vehicles for garbage transportation, then what is the need to purchase 149 vehicles. You can save money here. Also, the civic body wants to give contract to only one contractor. We have been batting for appointing eight different contractors ward-wise; even the state government order mentions it. This will increase competition among them and rates can come down automatically. Today, we are seeing that if only one contractor is appointment and if he fails to collect garbage, the entire city looks filthy. But if a contractor is appointed ward-wise, then in case of any emergency a contractor from another ward can collect the garbage. This will not paralyse the entire city.”
The Congress leader alleged that appointing one contractor leads to corruption. “It is easier to collect money from one contractor than from eight others. So, the ruling party has been batting for one contractor. It will also collect money from workers who will be appointed for the jobs citing ‘equal pay for equal work’ policy,” Bhagat added.
When asked why the Congress did not counter NCP in the house during the general body meeting, Bhagat claimed that they were not allowed to speak and their microphone was switched off as soon as he stood up to speak anything.
Bhagat has said that the city Congress will again approach the chief minister and apprise him about the developments taking place in the civic body.