Corporators in Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) on Wednesday trained guns at municipal commissioner Abasaheb Jarhad for not signing files pertaining to development works, and sitting on a pile of over 1,000 files ever since he has been given additional charge at NMMC.
The corporators are a worried lot because they fear elections could be announced any time after Diwali, and as a result of which no works can happen due to model code of conduct in place. “I fear we will not be able to use even 20 per cent of the budget amount and the funds will lapse. The files should have been signed by now so that we could issue work orders for work to start as soon as rains subside in October,” said NCP corporator Vaibhav Gaikwad.
dna of navi mumbai was the first to highlight the decision paralysis at the civic body due to the municipal commissioner unwilling to sign any files.
Gaikwad’s party colleague, Shivram Patil, said, “Over 100-150 files of every department heads are pending with the municipal commissioner for signature. The works in civic body has come to a standstill. The bills of several contractors are still pending and with Ganeshotsav the festival season will begin and if we do not clear the bills how will the contractors raise money. Files for works worth Rs5 lakh are being sent back, and no work orders are being issued.”
Another NCP corporator, Vikram Shinde, too, seconded Gaikwad and Patil on the matter. “The condition of roads and gutters in my ward at Vashi is extremely bad. Earlier, the work was affected for five-six months because the then commissioner, Bhaskar Wankhede, was ill, and now we were at least expecting work to be fast-tracked, but our hopes have been dashed.”
Shiv Sena corporator Vijayanand Mane said, “Today, corporators are a frustrated lot. People come to us with various demands including civic works, and then we raise the matter with administration, that prepares the estimate, and the projects finally get stuck because the civic chief does not sign papers.”
Jarhad was given additional charge as municipal commissioner of NMMC after Bhaskar Wankhede retired on June 30, 2013. Jarhad, former collector of Thane, currently holds full-time charge as director of municipal administration.
Some corporators alleged that since the commissioner is holding additional charge he is not keen on taking any policy decision that could land him in trouble in future.