Half of the funds released by the Centre for the Swachh Bharat Mission in the capital has remained unspent. According to information released by different agencies to the Delhi government’s Urban Development (UD) department, of the Rs 14,986.88 lakh released for the purpose, around Rs 7,487.68 lakh was used till December 31, 2017. The North MCD accounts for approximately 78% of the unutilised funds.
Nearly 62% of the funds for solid-waste management (Rs 5,268.37 lakh of Rs 8,464 lakh), 60% of the funds released for capacity building (Rs 14.89 lakh of Rs 24.48 lakh), 46% of funds for community toilets (Rs 999.5 lakhs of Rs 2153.40 lakh), 33% of funds for information, education and communication (Rs 424.63 lakh of Rs 1,267 lakh) and 25% of funds for individual household toilets (Rs 780.61 lakh of Rs 3,078 lakh) remain unutilised.
Among the agencies, North MCD has the maximum unspent balance Rs 3,593.98 lakh (48%), followed by EDMC Rs 1,975.78 lakh (47%). In comparison, SDMC has an unspent balance of Rs 101.29 lakh — 3% of the sanctioned amount, while NDMC has utilised the entire corpus of Rs 202 lakh released to it. The Delhi Cantonment Board has 53% or Rs 234 lakh lying unspent of the total money sanctioned to it.
An official of the North MCD cited two reasons for the unspent funds. “First, a lot of these projects required about 60 days for the money to process. For instance, if there is a publicity campaign on radio, then the money will be listed as spent only after the work gets done. So, a lot of the money has been spent, but it won’t show up. The other problem was paucity of funds. The corporation is supposed to match the amount put in by the Centre. But with the North MCD, for instance, the corporation doesn’t have any money to put in. Managing to find these funds is a big problem for the agency,” said the official.
Delhi government’s Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) received Rs 1,886 lakh to construct community toilets. Of this, it has spent Rs 732.55 lakh, while the remaining Rs 1,153.85 lakhs (61%) remain unused. The UD department has received Rs 452.5 lakh — Rs 10.5 lakh for capacity buildings and Rs 442 lakh for information, education and communication — of which it has only spent Rs 12.94 lakh (3%).
A government official said, “While nearly the entire sum for capacity buildings (99%) has been utilised, the remaining sum hasn’t been spent because the UD department has to give it to the other agencies. If they haven’t finished the existing sum allocated to them, the money can’t be utilised. DUSIB’s problem is no different. It has built community toilets on the land it has, but work hasn’t progressed with the other agencies. That is a problem.”