Shiv Sena Councillor wants reports on study tours to be published
Moneylife Digital Team 11 January 2016
Administrative staff and corporators going on ‘study tours’ at taxpayers’ expense should be asked to submit a report along with a follow up action plan says Prof Jadhav, a nominated councillor from Shiv Sena in a notice of motion submitted to the BMC mayor 
Professor Avkash Jadhav, Shiv Sena's nominated councillor in the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai or Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has moved a notice of motion proposal for publishing reports on study tours by councillors and officials at public expenses and the action taken report. Study tours are a euphemism for fun junkets at government expense.
"after the end of such study tours by the administrative staff or by the legislative body, a Report should to be submitted, along with a follow up plan... as this will enable the appropriate utilisation of the taxpayers money and will set some guidelines and accountability to such study tours," Prof Jadhav had said in his proposal submitted to the BMC Mayor.
Welcoming the proposal, Shailesh Gandhi, former Central Information Commissioner (CIC) under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, said, "This is indeed a very good proposal for accountability and probity, which should get public support."
Citizens have often protested about elected representatives going on pleasure tours within the country and abroad. These tours are mislabelled study tours. There is no outcome of any benefit to citizens, but these are opportunities for fun and frolic at public expense, Mr Gandhi said.
According to a report from DNA, out of 227 corporators, over half will be on tour this month onwards. "Roads and pavements. That is what the corporators of the BMC want to study in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, this winter. This is not the only destination where the choice and purpose is bizarre. Exotic locales in Jammu & Kashmir and Kerala too come under the 'study tour' list. While in Kashmir they will study gardens and markets, in Kochi in Kerala, they will study parks and parking system. And all this at the cost of public money," the report says.
According to the report, each trip costs about Rs10 lakh and the BMC, one of the richest municipal corporations, could end up spending around Rs1 crore on all the trips put together. It said, "Not just the corporators. Officials will also undertake such trips. While the BMC's improvements committee will head to Jammu, the education committee members are planning a Dehradun visit and the health committee is heading to Sikkim."
Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag
6 years ago
All study tours by Councilors is for pleasure. Some councilors went to Andaman & Nicobar islands, to study storm water drains.
It is only at Port Blair, that Island state has Municipality, which has 3,50,000 population. We cannot take any model from that state, except for rainwater harvesting.
Rainwater harvesting is going on for centuries at all the islands, not only in India, but also in other countries. We can study it at Elephanta Islands near Mumbai and other islands near the coast of Maharashtra State.
Meenal Mamdani
6 years ago
High time some one asked pertinent questions about these travel junkets. Surprising though that a SS councilor has proposed this, a party not known for responsible behavior. Pretty sure the Prof will not get nominated again.
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