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Half of cess from old buildings spent on employees’ salary: Waikar

The Mumbai Building Repairs and Reconstruction Board (MBRRB) spends almost half of the cess collected from tenants living in old buildings on paying the salaries of its employees, Maharashtra Minister of State for Housing Ravindra Waikar said.

The MBRRB works under Maharashtra Housing and Development Authority (MHADA).

Waikar said that the cess collected from tenants living in dilapidated buildings should only be spent on the repairs and reconstructions of such buildings.

“The collection for the MBRRB is done by the Mumbai civic body and should be used for fresh repairs of dilapidated buildings only.

“Around Rs. 40 crore is collected by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM), 40 crore is given by the state government. Along with this, Rs. 10 crore is given by the MCGM and MHADA each. Thus, the Board gets Rs. 100 crore each year,” the minister said.

Waikar said he kept receiving complaints of shoddy repair work being done by the MBRRB and on investigation into the reasons, he found that the Board did not have sufficient funds to carry out its work.

“I was receiving complaints that repairing work was not being properly done by the board. I then found out this was happening because the Board did not have sufficient funds. Upon further inquiries, it came to light that almost half of the Board’s money was being spent on employees’ salaries,” he said.

“This is gross injustice to people who live in dilapidated buildings. Money is being spent on purposes other than for which it meant for last many years. MHADA officials should be payed by MHADA itself and not a Board that works under it. According to law, money collected for repairs should be used for the purpose,” he added.

Waikar said that he has instructed MHADA officials to stop paying employees from the cess collected by the MBRRB.

The MBRRB was formed in 1971 with an aim to do repairs and reconstruction of old and dilapidated cessed buildings in Mumbai. The megapolis has over 14,000 such buildings that pose threat to those who reside in them.

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