RTI by Zaveri exposes civic body’s lethargy in JNNURM projects

Response to an application filed under the Right to Information Act has raised several questions about the administration’s efficiency.

Written by Express News Service | Vadodara | Published: February 8, 2009 3:17 am

Response to an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has raised several questions about the administration’s efficiency. The said RTI enquired about the implementation of developmental works funded by the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).

The application was filed by Chirag Zaveri,Leader of the Opposition in the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC). According to the reply given by Public Information Officer Jignesh Shah,most of the initiated works are either incomplete even after two to three years,or were completed several months after the deadline.

“We had been raising voice against the delay in developmental works since long. And after the authentic reply from the VMC officials,it is now on paper that they have misused public funds by delaying the projects,” Zaveri told Newsline.

He added: “We have written to the Centre about the actual scenario along with the information given by the officials so that they get to know the reality. We have also demanded that officials from JNNURM come to Vadodara and check the actual work.”

The reply said four developmental projects were initiated in Zone-I worth Rs 619.13 crore,while the gravity line worth Rs 526 crore between Bhavans School and GIDC pumping station was supposed to be over in one year after it commenced in October 2006. But 15 per cent of the work is still pending. Similarly,several other projects have been delayed.

“There are cases where the works were supposed to be completed in six months,but even after two years,it is still on. For example,a project was initiated in January 2007 to lay a new drainage line between Gorwa Ambe wadi till canal,but only 45 per cent of the work has been completed till now. There are several such examples where VMC officials have admitted that they are responsible for the delay,” Zaveri said.

When asked if these lapses would be taken up during the forthcoming elections,Zaveri said it is going to be one of the main agenda because ultimately people are concerned about the amenities they are provided.

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