Judiciary dept upholds NMMC's garbage plan

Sunday, 22 December 2013 - 11:52am IST | Place: Belapur | Agency: DNA
Says it will be unconstitutional to reduce salaries of contract staff.

In a major blow to the city Congress unit, the law and judiciary department of state government has held that the proposal for garbage collection and transportation prepared by NMMC is “perfect” and observed that it would be “unconstitutional” to reduce salaries of contract workers of this department.

Congress has, however, dismissed, the claims made by Nationalist Congress Party over this proposal saying, “It was never opposed to equal pay for equal work. It was against reduction of salaries of contract workers. On the contrary, there are several items which are unnecessary and the proposal can cut down on them, hence the costs.”

While Navi Mumbai district Congress chief Dashrath Bhagat could not be reached for comments, another party leader said, “What Congress wanted was the proposal which was prepared hurriedly by All India Institute Local Self Government, which had not taken ground realities into consideration. There are several points were costs could be slashed.”

The Congress leader, said, “It was not necessary to fit vehicles with RFID chips and GPS as it is a luxury as far as the proposal and this work is concerned.” He added, “The urban development department asked for opinion only on equal pay and equal work from law and judiciary department and not on the entire proposal as claimed by NCP. We are waiting for the order since officials were busy with winter session in Nagpur.”

Garbage collection in the city has been paralysed for more than a year after the proposal of Rs1,504 per metric tonne for seven years of garbage collection passed by the general body in September 2012 was challenged by the city Congress unit. It approached the chief minister and sought inquiry into the matter. According to Congress, the rate offered was too high and they suggested changes to the proposal.

The state then constituted an inquiry headed by additional municipal commissioner of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Mohan Adtani, which suggested giving minimum wages to workers of this department. The committee also observed that the rate offered by NMMC was way above other municipal corporations.

Accordingly, the administration worked out a rate at Rs1,233 per metric tonne and tabled the proposal during the general body meeting held in August. However, NCP rejected it under the pretext that NMMC had adopted policy of equal pay for equal work and as such the rate cannot be accepted. The proposal was later sent to UD which had referred it to the law department.

In August 2012, NMMC terminated contract of M/S Antony Waste Handling for its inept services and due to series of complaints against the contractor. Since then the civic body has been struggling to clear the garbage on a daily basis and the waste is being carried in open trucks instead of garbage compactors at some places.

Jolt to city Cong

Garbage collection has been paralysed for over a year after the proposal of `1,504/ metric tonne for 7 years of collection passed by the general body in 2012 was challenged by the city Congress unit.

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