Development works of the Chandigarh civic body have been stalled due to the cut in grant in aid imposed because of the Covid-19 crisis. Except works which have funds allocated specifically by UT administration, all others have been stalled.
A total of Rs 425 crore as grant in aid was allocated for the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation. However, a cut of 30 per cent has been imposed.
“As of now for the first quarter, we have received Rs 105 crore and now in the subsequent quarters we will receive only Rs 90 crore,” said MC Commissioner KK Yadav while speaking to The Indian Express. “Many bill payments are held back due to the crisis now,” he added.
Yadav said that the income from various sources has also come down due to the pandemic.
“Several payments like water bills or others came down due to the pandemic. For the month of June we have been able to collect property tax of Rs 17 crore. No property is also being sold in this scenario,” he said.
According to the MC Commissioner, the civic body’s committed liabilities are an estimated Rs 50 crore every month, other than maintenance and other payments.
“It is going to be difficult for us. But the situation is such that we have to somehow manage. Only those works for which dedicated funds have been allocated like road recarpeting work will be carried out. All other development works like councillors ward development fund work or any building work has been halted,” said Yadav.
The committed liabilities include those expenses that can’t be avoided. This includes salaries of employees, payment of power and water bills etc.
The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation recently cut down on the funds to be spent on sanitisers and protective equipment after the General House raised questions.
Councillors said that public funds got saved as demand was huge even as the civic body was getting donations for such equipment. The tender which was made for Rs 2.82 crore was reduced to Rs 4.24 lakh.
Congress councillor Devinder Singh Babla said that the officials should cut down on unnecessary expenditure. “Our ward development work was held back previously as well, citing financial crisis. The officials should cut down on other unnecessary expenditure that they are making,” he said.
The General House, in its last meeting, also constituted a committee to look for avenues where revenue can be generated.
Yadav said that if the report of the committee is received by July 25, they will place the same before the General House.
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