Even as the issue of BMC doling out food trucks as freebies has just about settled, the civic body is planning to give away vehicles to unemployed people to run as mobile libraries for students.
The E-ward, comprising Byculla and Mazgaon, has floated a tender to procure four vehicles under the proposed scheme that will kick off early next year.
The total cost of the project is nearly Rs 2 crore, with each van costing Rs 45 lakh, said assistant municipal commissioner Manish Valanju.
It was just last month that the BMC stayed the scheme of distributing food trucks, with civic chief Iqbal Singh Chahal directing officials of the planning department to formulate a comprehensive policy for it.
Chahal also directed officials to shortlist 50 locations across the city after obtaining a NOC from the traffic department for allowing food trucks.
Sena corporator from Byculla and standing committee chairman Yashwant Jadhav had already bought 30 food trucks for Rs 5 crore for his constituency. Criticising the planning department’s October 8 circular, Jadhav had said that food trucks were being distributed in his constituency since 2019 and that the stay was unfair to corporators.
Meanwhile, the E-ward has now written to the planning department to fix guidelines for the distribution of mobile libraries after demanding from Jadhav.
Jadhav said it is an educational initiative and that library vans will be beneficial for those from the economically backward sections.
“This will benefit thousands of students as we will keep books related to competitive exams such as UPSC and MPSC, apart from school and college textbooks. Education shouldn’t be politicised by the opposition,” Jadhav said.
Many have called the move a gimmick to attract votes. “When the food truck gimmick failed, he (Jadhav) came up with the mobile library scheme. It is a win-win situation for the Shiv Sena. I am not against such schemes; however, there is no policy in place,” said BJP corporator Vinod Mishra.