MPLAD projects on fast track after poll announcement

Hundreds of schemes under some MPs’ Local Area Development fund that had been hanging fire have suddenly been started after the Lok Sabha election poll dates...

Written by Madhuparna Das | Kolkata | Published:March 8, 2009 2:18 am

Hundreds of schemes under some MPs’ Local Area Development fund (MPLAD) that had been hanging fire have suddenly been started after the Lok Sabha election poll dates were announced while pending schemes under the supervision of those who have not been nominated have started piling up,shows a Central government website that maintains and updates data on MPLAD.

Take the instance of Mohammad Salim from Kolkata North-East Kolkata and Mamata Banerjee from Kolkata South. The two MPs – Banerjee of Trinamool Congress and Salim of CPI(J) — are contesting the LS polls.

Official records show in February this year,120 schemes of Banerjee and 116 schemes of Salim who were yet to start. Barely days after the announcement of LS poll dates,only two schemes of Salim and four schemes of Banerjee are pending at present while all the rest have been activated.

“We have to keep some funds reserved for the schemes that are executed as per the public demand. During the campaign tour,I found several works promised to be done either by councillors or by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation were not completed. So I funded these projects,” said Md. Salim. According to the KMC records,the fund usage of Salim is around 79 per cent as the civic body received around Rs 7 crore from the MPLAD of Salim.

The case Sudhangshu Seal from Kolkata North-West,who failed to win nomination this time around,is different. Till last month,only 96 schemes under Seal’s MPLAD were pending. At present,the number has gone to 268 Seal,however,denied the allegation and claimed all of his schemes have been executed.

“All my schemes have been executed. I have received nine utilization certificates from the Centre. And my fund usage is 100 per cent. The find might have not been updated duly in the date. I have released all my funds,” said Seal.

However,a senior civic official said the website is updated from the Centre every month and the civic body sends its monthly reports to the Centre.

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