January 30th, 2016
An RTI application revealed that the BJP-led Municipal Corporations of Delhi have admitted to spending Rs 1 crore per month on maintenance of its web portal (mcd.gov.in).
The response also discovered that the corporations have been paying this amount to Tech Mahindra for the past one and a half years.
The total amount spent on the maintenance of MCD’s website of the Delhi government with several departments under one site, is over Rs 12 crore per annum.
As per the report published in The Indian Express, a senior official of the South Delhi Municipal Corporation said that this was one-third the amount the unified corporation agreed to pay to Tech Mahindra for providing complete information technology solutions to the three corporations.
In November 2013, a dispute over payment between Tech Mahindra and the civic agencies happened which led to the week-long disruption of online services.
After the civic agencies approached the High Court, the court ordered the corporations to pay Rs 1 crore to Tech Mahindra keeping in view the larger public interest involved.
The opposition had lambasted the expenditure calling it a “criminal waste of money.” They also added that the MCD’s spend crores on the maintenance of the website but the most pertinent sections concerning the performance of councilors and development of wards have been left untouched.
The Indian Express reported that the SDMC which takes care of IT solutions on behalf of the three corporations stated the expenditure on e-governance project till now is Rs 65 crore. Mayor Subhash Arya said he was not aware of this expense and “will look into this”.
It is to be noted that in 2010, the Anti Corruption Branch of Delhi had stated that in the last three years, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi was the second most corrupt branch, after Delhi Police. Also, in 2010, a petition had been filed by non-government organization, Jagrook Welfare Society, to the Delhi High Court alleging that there were more than 22, 000 ghost employees in the MCD which drew regular salaries from the government coffers. It seems to be a major scam as the MCD is spending Rs 100 crore every year on the salary of such ghost employees.
Both the cases are still under investigation. There is no final verdict yet. However, added to the latest scam of MCD related to its defunct website, this gives a grim picture of the prevailing corruption in the civic body.
The Logical Indian community is appalled at the exposure of yet another scam related to the MCD. We request the various stakeholders, including the present government, Anti Corruption Branch and Delhi High Court, to take a serious view of the latest revelations and conduct the probe in a fair, speedy and transparent manner. After all, it is the taxpayer’s money that is being used to pay for the maintenance of the defunct website.