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Monday, May 5, 2008

RTI nails BMC’s half-hearted recovery of dues from companies

If the letter stated that the amount will be recovered within three days, then why have they still not recovered it...
A Right to Information (RTI) application has exposed the lackadaisical attitude of the Brihan Mumbai Municipal Corpo-ration (BMC) for not recovering their dues, in the form of penalty charges imposed on Reliance Energy and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) for the illegal excavation of a trench at Chimatpada Road in Andheri.Ravi Nair, a volunteer of AGNI from the K-East Ward had notified the trench (road digging) officer of illegal excavation on the roads by these companies. He then filed an RTI application demanding the documents for the recovery of dues for the illegal excavation on the roads by the companies. Nair demanded photocopies of the debit/sap voucher confirming that BMC has recovered the penalty amount from Reliance Energy in the stipulated time period for recovering the same, after issuing the letter under the Right to Information Act. In its response, the BMC has stated that letters have already been sent to MTNL Ltd. and Reliance Energy and the same will be recovered from the amount which the companies had deposited with BMC in due course.The BMC has issued a letter to Reliance Energy and MTNL for paying the penalty amounting to Rs. 16,351 from Reliance Energy Limited and Rs. 4,21,740 from MTNL. But Nair alleges that the BMC has not recovered these dues. "The dues are still pending. I have been filing the RTI applications right from the month of May, but still they have not provided the documents about the recovery of penalty," said Nair.He alleges that the penalty was supposed to be recovered within three days of issuing the letter to the companies, failing in which the amount should have been recovered from the deposit of the companies. But the Corporation has still not recovered their dues. "If the letter stated that the amount will be recovered within three days, then why have they still not recovered it?" asks Nair. R.B. Dhakane, the Assistant Municipal Commissioner (K East) Ward was not available for comment.

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