DMK on Friday urged the top State officials to ensure that subsidy allocated by the Finance Commission was spent by local bodies only for basic services like sanitation at a time when Tamil Nadu was reeling under the incidence of dengue. Alleging “pressure” to municipal and corporation commissioners to spend cash subsidies for “contracts and tenders,” DMK Working President M K Stalin said it was “creating dangerous circumstances in the administration of the local bodies.”
Stalin, who is the leader of Opposition in the Assembly alleged that a Minister was exerting pressure to spend subsidies of the Finance Commission for contracts. “Central Finance Commission grants subsidies to local bodies which take the form of basic subsidies and operational subsidies,” he said in a statement. Basic subsidy of Rs 252.79 crore and Rs 195.91 crore was allocated to corporations and municipalities respectively by the State government last month for 2017-18 (first instalment), he said.
It was, however, “sickening” to note that a “minister” was involved in “diversion” of funds which “are meant for the upkeep of municipalities and corporations, especially at a time when people were struggling due to dengue scare, the spread of which is closely linked to sanitation,” he said.
It was because of this “intervention” that services related to drinking water, sewerage and solid waste management, were “disrupted.” Also, the local bodies were “unable” to pay the bills for drinking water, street lights and other services, he claimed. As, local bodies played an important role in containing the spread of dengue, he said “I would like to insist the (government) Secretaries to not be influenced by vested political interests and ensure that the funds are used for the intended purposes.”