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Audit flags ‘irregularities of over Rs 1,600 crore’ in South Delhi civic body

Civic bodies in the city have been reeling under a fund crunch and, on several occasions, have failed to pay salaries of teachers and sanitation workers on time. The South body has the highest property tax collection potential.

Written by Abhinav Rajput | New Delhi | Updated: August 30, 2019 7:48:02 am
South Delhi Municipal Corporation, South Delhi Municipal Corporation tax arrears, South Delhi Municipal Corporation audit report, irregularities in SDMC audit report, delhi city news Civic bodies in the city have been reeling under a fund crunch and, on several occasions, have failed to pay salaries of teachers and sanitation workers on time. (Representational)

The audit report of the South Delhi Municipal Corporation has found alleged irregularities of over Rs 1,600 crore in the civic body, including unrecovered property tax arrears of Rs 1,177.47 crore.

Civic bodies in the city have been reeling under a fund crunch and, on several occasions, have failed to pay salaries of teachers and sanitation workers on time. The South body has the highest property tax collection potential.

The audit report for the year 2016-17, which was tabled in the Standing Committee of the South MCD Thursday, also found that “undue benefits” were given to property owners or builders.

“In 2,149 cases, demolition or sealing orders were not executed though it was mandatory on expiry of 15 days of issuance of demolition orders. In 47 cases, the demolition or sealing orders were not passed,” stated the report.

Standing committee

chairperson of South MCD Bhupender Gupta said he was yet to read the report. “We will seek responses from all departments which have been questioned and take action on the findings,” he said.

Standing committee member and Congress leader Ved Pal said that while the South MCD keeps complaining of a financial crisis, corruption is causing huge losses.

Parking

Delay in completing construction of multi-level underground car parking at New Friends Colony, Jangpura and Kalkaji resulted in cost overrun of Rs 14.27 crore and time overrun of more than seven years, the report said.

Tenders for construction of these parking lots were invited in 2009 and the project should have been completed in March 2011. It is still in progress. The parking in New Friends Colony was delayed due to water seepage while in Jangpura, a contract dispute has delayed the project, said a South MCD official.

Purnima Sethi Hospital

Delay in construction of the 100-bed Purnima Sethi Multispecialty Hospital at Kalkaji meant a cost overrun of Rs 32.08 crore and time overrun of over 10 years. “It also deprived people of health services,” the report said.

Other losses

The entire expenditure of Rs 26.90 crore incurred on a project to cover a drain from Pushp Vihar to Defence Colony became “wasteful” as the plan to provide parking space was defeated, the report said. The licensing department is yet to recover dues amounting to Rs 3.48 crore towards tehbazari fee.

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