Shiv Sena ruled BMC, which is already mired in scams of de-silting work, road projects and more than 75% unutilised budget, has now arranged a ‘study tour’ for its members. The Standing Committee members have been sent to the Andaman Islands for a five-day study tour to study the island’s drainage system for which they left yesterday and will be returning on February 1.
The expenditure of the tour is to be borne by the Municipal Corporation which will amount to approximately Rs 50 lakhs. The Congress party boycotted the tour whereas the BJP corporators cancelled their tour as the BJP Minister Sushma Swaraj is to visit Mumbai tomorrow, leaving the group constituting only of the Shiv Sena corporators. Some SP and NCP members also cancelled their tour.
The reason given by Shiv Sena for choosing the Andaman Islands for the study tour is that both Mumbai and the Andaman Islands are surrounded by the sea.
However, looking at both the places, there are many differences which emerge between the two. Mumbai is a metropolitan city whereas Andaman is known for its greenery, beaches and natural beauty. Mumbai comprises a population of 11.98 million while Andaman has a population of only 3 lakh.
Many questions have been raised on this study tour as to whether it is genuinely a ‘study tour’ or a holiday as this is the peak time to go to the Andamans for a beautiful natural experience.
Not just this, to prove the point mentioned above, there are other such ‘study’ tours being planned. The Women and Child Committee is slated to visit the Andaman Islands on January 30. Another tour to Sikkim is planned for the very next day the corporators return from Andaman i.e., February 2. A tour to Cochin has also been planned, the date for which has not yet been announced.
Even though the Mayor, Snehal Ambedkar is not a member of the Standing Committee, she has accompanied the group for this five-day study tour.
Some of the others who have gone are Yashodhar Phanse, Standing Committee Chairman, Trushna Vishwasrao, Leader of the house, Anuradha Pednekar, Anisha Majhgaonkar (MNS), Ramesh Korgaonkar (Sena), Vishnu Gaikwad, Ramakant Rahate, Hemangi Worlikar and Pramod Sawant.