An RTI plea has found that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) spent Rs 13.59 crore to come up with a revised Development Plan 2034 for Mumbai.
The civic body had to come up with a revised DP after the first one, developed under then municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte, was presented in February 2015 and received flak from several segments of society.
Later, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis asked the BMC to come up with a new DP by incorporating objections and suggestions of the public.
The revised DP got the state government’s nod this week.
The Right to Information plea, filed by city-based activist Anil Galgali, found that, of the total expenses, Rs 46.55 lakh was paid to Ramnath Jha as remuneration for being the Officer on Special Duty overseeing the DP preparation.
A sum of Rs 1.26 crore was spent on uploading the DP onto the BMC’s website while another Rs 46 lakh was spent to print the plan.
The RTI reply revealed that ex-IAS official Gautam Chatterjee, ex-chief engineer Sudhir Ghate and former deputy director (planning) were collectively paid around Rs 20 lakh for holding hearings as well as finalising objections and suggestions from the public.
A sum of Rs 3.35 crore was paid to Akhil Bhartiya Sthanik Swarajya Sanstha for hiring technical experts, planners and manpower to prepare the plan, the RTI reply states.
The civic body also set aside Rs 10 lakh as a contingency fund while the revised DP was being prepared.
Galgali called the expenditure “lavish” and said this money would have been saved if the BMC had prepared the first DP plan properly.
Calls and messages sent to BMC officials, however, did not elicit any response.