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Friday, 18 December 2020

Chandigarh Mayor, councillors yet to exhaust ward fund

Sandeep Rana

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 17

While this year the Mayor and councillors did not get even a single penny as a ward development fund owing to Covid-19, they are yet to spend previous years' fund allotted to them. This has hit the development works in the city.

As per the Municipal Corporation records, only three of the total 26 elected councillors could fully utilise their ward funds. They are Kanwarjeet Rana, Asha Kumari Jaswal and Chanderwati Shukla.

The exceptions

As per the MC records, only three of the total 26 elected councillors could fully utilise their ward funds. They are Kanwarjeet Rana, Asha Kumari Jaswal and Chanderwati Shukla.

Some councillors have nearly Rs 1 crore of ward development fund unused. Councillor Satish Kainth has the maximum unspent funds (Rs105.57 lakh). He is followed by councillor Farmila, who has Rs 99.05 lakh yet to be utilised on the development of her ward.

Kainth reasoned, "I have given work details to the corporation, but administrative approval is still awaited. The main reason is the MC has no funds. It is failure of the ruling BJP's Mayor, the UT Administration and the MP. They could not get funds from the Centre."

Several councillors said they had given the report of the works to be carried out in their wards, but they have not been approved or carried out by the officials.

A senior Municipal Corporation official said, "Earlier, there was 20 per cent cut in our grant-in-aid, due to which development funds could not be allotted to the councillors. Now, since we have got the permission to spend these, we have allotted them Rs30 lakh each. Last year, there was a shortage of funds."

Mayor Raj Bala Malik, who will probably become the first Mayor without any fund, said, "Due to Covid, funds could not be allotted this year. As the situation has improved, we have started the process of allotting funds for ward development."

How much they get

The councillors used to get Rs40 lakh per year to spend in their respective wards during the five-year term. The amount was doubled last year. The Mayor gets Rs2 crore per year, which can be spent in any ward. Councillors' funds are carried forward for five years while the Mayor's fund gets lapsed each year.

Unspent funds

  • Raj Bala Malik Rs56.39 lakh
  • Davesh Moudgil Rs84.91 lakh
  • Shakti Prakash Rs84.55 lakh
  • Heera Negi Rs76.07 lakh
  • Jagtar Singh Rs53.66 lakh
  • Arun Sood Rs50.37 lakh


from The Tribune https://ift.tt/38e6Lav

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