EVEN AS the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has been seeking additional funds from the Centre on the plea that it has been facing a financial crisis, the civic body has fared poorly in utilising the funds allocated to it for 2017-18 A detailed report, regarding the expenditure made till December 2017, was prepared and sent to senior officials on Thursday.
While schools, under primary education, have been suffering due to poor infrastructure, the Municipal Corporation spent just 0.2 per cent of the funds meant under the primary education head. Of the Rs 5 crore allocated, the civic body managed to spend just Rs 1 lakh Of the Rs 339 crore allocated under the capital head which was meant for development work, the civic body spent just 43 per cent of the funds that is Rs 148 crore Under the head, primary health, where an amount of Rs 8 crore was allocated, the MC spent just Rs 1 crore while under the public health category, the civic body spent just Rs 90 crore out of the Rs 146 crore allocated.
Similarly, for construction of roads, the MC spent just Rs 48 crore of the Rs 103 crore allocated Where on the one hand, new fire stations were proposed to be built in the 2017-18 budget along with other demands like fire uniforms and fire tenders as most of them had ripped tyres, officials have spent just Rs 1 crore out of the Rs 30 crore allocated under the fire and emergency services department The medical officer of the health wing spent Rs 4 crore out of the Rs 20 crore allocated under it while the horticulture wing managed to spend just Rs 2 crore out of the Rs 10 crore allocated.
Under electrification, the officials spent Rs 80 lakh of the Rs 5 crore allocated MC Commissioner Jitender Yadav said every year, they make provisions under various heads but because they received less grant-in-aid from the Chandigarh Administration, they spent funds according to the grant-in-aid received by UT. “We just got a grant-in-aid of Rs 269 crore from the administration which was too less. So accordingly, we had to spend money,” he added.
A BJP councillor of the corporation said MC should have generated its own revenue to fulfil the allocation. “Why do they have to depend on grant-in-aid? They should generate their own income. But because there is always opposition to new taxes, the MC should at least rent out its vacant properties,” he stated The officials of the accounts department are now beginning to prepare the next budget of the civic body.